It had been a rather peaceful night that much far. Hailey and Mia were playing Exploding Snap while Rome stared worriedly out the window. She barely heard her friends go back up to the dorms. The full moon hung high in the sky as if taunting her. It wasn’t until James burst into the common room panting that Rome knew something was up. She sprinted over to him.
“Did something happen?” she asked concernedly.
“Take this, and don’t give it to Sirius whatever you do,” James said as he thrust a wand into her hands.
“Come on, James! It’s a joke!” Sirius complained as he came through the portrait hole.
“Shut up! Incarcerous,” James said before exiting the common room.
“What the hell is going on?” Rome asked exasperatedly.
“I just played a tiny prank on Snivellus,” Sirius said. Rome could tell he was hiding something. She levitated him up to the empty boys’ dorm.
“Spill,” she demanded as soon as the door shut.
“It’s nothing! You said he was bothering you about where Moony went every month so I helped him out a bit,” Sirius said innocently.
“You. Did. What?!?” Rome fumed.
“I may have told him to press the knot on the Whomping Willow, but I did tell him he wouldn’t like what he’d find. I warned him,” Sirius explained.
“You idiot! Do you realize that he could get killed?! Not only that, think of what it would do to Remus! It’d kill him if he knew he hurt someone! Now James is risking his life too! How could you be so god damn careless?” Rome scolded.
“Come on, it was a joke!”
“A joke? You think lycanthropy is a joke? Think of the guilt Remus will have if he did something to Snape. Do you think before you act, or do you talk to hear your voice? Damn it, Sirius. If anything happens, it’s on your head,” Rome seethed. She barely felt the tears rolling down her face.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize…” he trailed off. He had screwed up. Big time.
“I’ve got to go see what’s happening,” Rome choked out before racing out of the common room.
“What’s going on with her?” Anthony asked Mia as the fifth years lounged on the common room couches.
“I don’t know. Sometimes she gets really high strung, but we just chalk it up to PMS,” Mia admitted.
“I thought only guys did that,” Duncan muttered.
“It must have been something Sirius did,” Hailey realized.
“That leaves a lot of options,” Mark said, smirking.
“It has to be bad. She seems really stressed,” Lucas said worriedly. They all thought for a moment.
“I’m going to go see what Sirius knows,” Hailey said finally as she went up the stairs. She pushed open the door to find Sirius looking guilty while still tied up.
“Are you okay? What the hell happened?” Hailey asked as she started undoing the ropes.
“I made a mistake. A mistake that will probably end up costing me my family,” Sirius said desolately.
“You hate your family,” Hailey said as she finished releasing him.
“I mean the Marauders, my real family,” he said. His grey eyes looked blankly ahead.
“What did you do?” Hailey asked consolingly.
“I can’t tell you, but it’s bad. I should be carted off to Azkaban,” Sirius said remorsefully.
“They’ll come around, and it can’t be that bad,” Hailey assured him.
He shook his head. “It is. If you knew what I did, you’d hate me. I didn’t mean to do it. I was careless,” Sirius said. He was truly contrite for his actions, but it wasn’t going to be that easy.
“Sirius, if you’re really sorry, they’ll come around. I’m here for you until they do,” Hailey said as she put comforting arms around him.
“Thanks, Hails, but you should get out of here. McGonnagall should be here soon to haul me off,” Sirius said dryly.
“What you did couldn’t be that bad,” Hailey guaranteed him.
“Go before you get in trouble too, Hails,” Sirius said. Hailey sighed but obeyed. She had never seen Sirius look so… serious.
She had barely made it downstairs in time before a furious McGonnagall stormed in. She went straight to the boys’ staircase.
“What happened? I’ve never seen her so mad,” Mark asked.
“Whatever he did, it was bad. He wouldn’t tell me,” Hailey said worriedly. Before the conversation could persist, McGonnagall was dragging Sirius down the stairs.
“… irresponsible behavior… expulsion…”
The six teens looked at each other in fear. What did he do?
Meanwhile, Rome, James, and Snape were sitting in the headmaster’s office. Rome had been crying, and James was out of breath. Snape was between fear and smugness.
“Your dog scratched you. Is that your pet name for him?” Snape teased Rome. Rome, still shaken from the whole ordeal, just sat there.
“Severus, I do not believe that you should be discussing Miss Lupin’s business,” Dumbledore scolded.
“At least I’m not the sister of a half-breed,” Snape said out of Dumbledore’s ear-shot.
“Sod off, Snape. She has nothing to do with this,” James said protectively. Rome just sat there motionless.
The argument was cut off by the entrance of McGonnagall with Sirius. Snape inched away. James looked disappointed, and Rome’s eyes narrowed. Sirius sullenly sat in the seat next to James.
“Welcome, Mister Black,” Dumbledore said kindly.
“He told me to hit the knot on the tree! It was Black!” Snape sneered.
“We’ll get to that in a moment. First I would like to sort out Miss Lupin’s part in all this,” Dumbledore said calmly. He motioned for Rome to talk. When she didn’t, James stepped in.
“After Sirius told me what he was going to do, I had her keep his wand away from him,” James explained. Rome nodded slightly.
“She gave me a good telling off which I needed,” Sirius said quietly.
“Very well, Professor McGonnagall, would you please escort Miss Lupin back to her dormitory. Maybe get her a sleeping draught,” Dumbledore said firmly.
“Thank you,” Rome mumbled before following the Professor. Sirius felt especially guilty seeing Rome’s face.
“Alright. Mister Black, would you mind explaining what has happened here tonight?” Dumbledore asked evenly.
“Well, we helped Remus to the hospital wing like always, and then I saw Rome later. She was upset because Snape had been mean to her, and I got a really stupid idea,” Sirius explained ruefully. “I told Snape that if he was so curious where Remus went, he should press the knot on the Whomping Willow. I wasn’t thinking, and it was really careless. I’m sorry.”
James was surprised at his friend’s remorse, but it didn’t change the facts. He had betrayed Remus and almost killed Snape. It would be hard to forgive.
“Mister Potter, what role did you play in this?” Dumbledore asked openly.
“Sirius came to me, bragging about this new prank on Snive- I mean Snape. When he actually explained it to me, I disarmed him and ran to the common room. I gave Rome his wand and went to stop Snape. I got to him while he opened the door. Remus almost attacked, but I closed the door just in time,” James explained honestly.
“Mister Snape, what are your views on this incident?” Dumbledore asked.
“I could have been killed by that half-breed, and that blood traitor tried to kill me. He should be expelled along with the werewolf,” Snape began hotly.
“Remus didn’t do anything. If anyone should be expelled, it should be me,” Sirius said fiercely.
Dumbledore pondered everybody’s words for a moment. Sirius could feel his expulsion looming. James was torn between the two of his friends.
“Mister Snape, please return to your dormitories,” Dumbledore said finally. Snape obeyed with a smug grin on his face.
“Mister Potter, what are your feelings on terms of punishment?” Dumbledore asked once Severus had gone.
“Me?” James asked confusedly. Dumbledore nodded encouragingly. “I think what Sirius did was the stupidest thing that he could have done. It was careless, and thoughtless, and irrational, but I think he’s really sorry about it. He should get another chance.”
“I am sorry, Professor,” Sirius agreed.
“Very well. I have heard the arguments and will decide your punishment tomorrow. Good night,” Dumbledore said firmly to the two boys. They both nodded and left the office.
“I really screwed up, Prongs,” Sirius said apologetically.
“You’re damn right you did. Think of what it would have done to Remus,” James said in a way he hoped displayed tough love.
“I know. I wasn’t thinking,” Sirius admitted.
“He has no idea what just happened,” James pointed out.
“I wish I could take it back,” Sirius said sadly.
“Well, you can’t. What you can do is stop moping around and start off by apologizing to Rome. Did you see her face? If you weren’t one of my best mates, I would have kicked your sorry arse,” James said indisputably.
“You’re right, but if she took a sleeping potion, she’ll be out cold,” Sirius said sadly.
“You are going to talk to her eventually. You owe her that much,” James said as he picked up the pace to the common room. If she wasn’t asleep, he’d check on Rome. They walked to the common room in a strained silence. Sirius knew James was right about moping around, but he knew that Remus and Rome wouldn’t forgive him outright.
When they entered the common room, it was mostly empty. Most of the students had gone to bed. All of the fifth year Gryffindors besides Rome were still in the common room. Hailey immediately came over and hugged Sirius.
“You weren’t expelled, were you?” she asked concernedly.
“What the hell happened to Rome? She’s a mess,” Mia asked James.
“It’s a long story. Where is she now?” James asked worriedly.
“In the dorms, sleeping. What happened?” Mia persisted.
“Nothing of your concern,” James said quickly. Since Rome was sleeping, the object of his attention was the fact that Hailey was comforting Sirius.
“Hailey, we need to talk,” James said.
“Fine,” she said, letting go of Sirius. They went over to a secluded corner, and Hailey crossed her arms which signaled for James to start talking.
“Sirius,” James sighed, trying to figure out how to phrase it, “did something very bad. He was being stupid and careless. I don’t really know how Remus and Peter will side, but I know for a fact what Sirius did was wrong. It affected more people than he thought. Just know that if Rome is angry at him, her reason is justified.”
“What the hell happened? I’m not taking anyone’s side until I know that much,” Hailey said stubbornly.
“I can’t tell you that,” James said, running a finger through his knotted hair.
“Whatever, if you won’t tell me, Rome will. Until then, I’m going to go comfort Sirius because whatever he did, he’s sorry for it, and that’s enough for me,” Hailey said finally, but by the time she turned around, Sirius had disappeared up to his dormitory.
“Trust me when I say that Rome has good reason to be mad, Hails. Love you, but I’m going to bed,” James said as he trudged up the staircase.
“Well, he was no help,” Hailey sighed as she flopped back down on the couch.
“Are you sure Rome is okay?” Lucas asked.
“She wouldn’t talk to us. She just went straight to bed,” Mia sighed.
“Well, let’s think through this rationally. Rome has been on edge all day. James came running in breathless and tied up Sirius. Sirius said he was only joking, and Rome levitated him up to the dorms. What does that mean?” Duncan suggested.
“Rome accidentally walked in on James and Sirius making out. James realized what he was doing and pushed him off while Sirius tried to apologize. Rome and Sirius are secret lovers, and she dragged him up there to scorn him for cheating on her,” Anthony said. Everyone stared at him questioningly. “What?! It makes sense if you think about it.”
“Rome doesn’t like Sirius like that,” Hailey said quickly. Was Mia hallucinating, or did Lucas look relieved?
“What’s up with her brother? I mean he always disappears,” Mark asked curiously.
Hailey and Mia looked at each other. “We’ve always thought it’s a Marauders thing,” Mia said innocently.
“Now that he mentions it, Rome always seems to wake up earlier on those days,” Hailey pointed out.
“Rome wouldn’t hide anything from us,” Mia assured herself. “Would she?”
“No way. We have no secrets. We know it all,” Hailey said firmly as if trying to make herself believe it.
“You three don’t have any secrets?” Duncan challenged.
“Between each other, no, but otherwise…” Mia trailed off.
“The little sisters have secrets?” Mark said sarcastically.
“What did you call us?” Hailey asked. Mia smirked knowingly.
“I didn’t mean it like that. I mean your brothers are like Hogwarts royalty,” Mark stammered.
“She’s just joking. We know you guys know that we’re more than that, right?” Mia said surely. The agreements from the boys left more to be desired.
“You three are much more than that,” Anthony assured them.
“Yeah, like I would have never known Rome loved dogs so much if we just thought you were the little sisters,” Lucas guaranteed. Duncan coughed something vaguely sounding like “stalker”. “I do not stalk her! She told me while we walked this morning.”
“Let me guess, you told her about Derkinschnaw?” Anthony laughed.
Hailey and Mia exchanged looks. “We don’t want to know,” they agreed.
“Derkinschnaw is my dog,” Lucas explained sheepishly.
“Alrighty, then I think it’s time for us to go to bed. Have fun with Derkinschnaw, Luke,” Hailey said as she and Mia retreated to the dorms for the night.
Even though she had been given a sleeping draught, Rome tossed and turned the whole night. When she woke up, there was absolutely no chance of her getting back to sleep. Instead, she went to go check on her brother.
The hospital wing was mostly empty besides Remus sleeping in one of the beds. Rome took the chair next to his bed and pulled her legs up to her chest. So many emotions had been flooding through her. The thing that frightened her most was that Snape had made the connection about her scar.
One of the things she hadn’t told anybody was how she got that scar. It was about six inches long and ran down her upper arm. It was paled from years of healing. Rome wasn’t proud of her mistake, but she wasn’t going to let others suffer from her own stupidity. She was fine anyway, and it didn’t really matter anymore. What’s done is done.
“Are you okay?” James whispered as he hugged Rome quietly.
“I’m fine. Who’s going to tell Remus though?” she said quietly.
“I don’t know, but Sirius gets his punishment today,” James informed her.
“Am I a bad person if I want him to get expelled?” Rome asked after a moment’s thought.
“No, he had no right to do that,” James assured her. “He’s really sorry though,” James added fruitlessly.
“I just am not sure if I’m ready to forgive him just yet,” Rome said quietly.
“That’s alright. I didn’t expect you to. How long have you been awake?” he asked gently stroking her hair from the seat next to her.
“Not very long. I couldn’t really sleep,” Rome admitted, leaning on James’s shoulder.
“It’ll be okay. Dumbledore bound Snape to secrecy, remember?” he reminded her softly.
“That’s not the only thing though. Remember how he said something about a scar of mine,” Rome said softly watching the rise and fall of her brother’s chest.
“Yes, but you don’t have a scar,” James pointed out.
Rome shook her head and lifted up her sleeve. James lightly traced the scar with his fingers. “It was nothing. Just an accident, it was my fault really. I was only nine, and I snuck outside to play during a full moon. Remus saw me. Something inside of him must have realized it was me because I got inside with just that small mark. I never told anyone because I didn’t think it’d matter. If anything, it’d make more trouble for him, and who wants that?” Rome explained softly.
“I won’t tell,” James promised.
“Thank you. You truly are my other older brother,” Rome said as she smiled slightly at him.
“You’re a second little sister, Rome,” James said affectionately. They sat together in comfortable silence as they waited for Remus to wake up. When he did wake up, he had no idea anything was wrong.
“Hey, Remus,” Rome said gently.
“Hi,” he said hoarsely.
“How’re you feeling, Moony?” James asked.
“Like crap, nothing new,” he answered uncharacteristically sarcastically.
“There’s something we need to tell you about last night,” Rome said, seriousness taking hold of her voice.
A look of horror overcame Remus’s face. “Where’s Peter and Sirius?” he asked worriedly.
“They’re fine,” Rome assured him quickly. “Well, Sirius is beating himself up over what happened according to James,” Rome added.
“What did happen?” Remus asked hesitantly.
Rome took a deep breath and turned to James. “Sirius thought that he’d teach Snape a lesson,” James began. Remus was absolutely terrified. He had never particularly liked him, but he wouldn’t wish lycanthropy on anyone. “No one was hurt, but Snape did see you in your wolf form. I stopped him before he could get any further. Rome had been holding Sirius in the dorms after I disarmed him. None of us are getting punished, but Sirius is getting his punishment today.”
Rome wished, not for the first time in her life, that she could have been bitten by Greyback. The pain on Remus’s face made her want to be sick. He just shook his head. James had a sickening feeling that he wasn’t going to forgive Sirius.
“Snape is bound to secrecy. I don’t think it will change much,” Rome assured him.
“I almost killed him,” Remus said, his voice small and frightened.
“But you didn’t,” James finished for him. “It’ll all blow over. Trust me.”
“You should probably go find Hailey and Mia. They’ll think something’s up,” Remus said to Rome. Rome wanted to comfort her brother, but she knew that was his way of asking to be alone.
“Love you,” she added with a hesitant hug. She returned to the dormitory where Hailey and Mia were waiting for her.
“What happened last night?” Mia asked.
“It was noth-” Rome started.
“It’s not nothing if Sirius was getting threatened with expulsion,” Hailey cut her off.
“Sirius did something bad. He was stupid and careless. I don’t know if I can forgive him for it,” Rome said ambiguously.
“What did he do?” Mia asked.
“I can’t tell you that,” Rome said, praying that they’d drop it.
“Why not? We’re your best friends,” Hailey said, getting angrier with each sentence.
“I know, and I love you guys more than you’ll ever know. It’s not my secret to tell. Just trust me when I say that whatever punishment Sirius gets is what he deserves,” Rome tried to explain.
“I don’t know, Rome. What are you hiding from us? Whatever the hell he did, he’s sorry for it. Isn’t that enough?” Hailey argued.
“Please, I don’t want to fight. It’s bad, Hails. Trust me when I say that much,” Rome pleaded.
“No! I’m not going to blindly follow you. What happened, Rome? We never keep secrets!” Hailey protested, her voice rising in volume.
“I can’t tell you,” Rome said, barely hearing her voice. She didn’t want to start a fight.
“What else aren’t you telling us?” Hailey challenged loudly.
“I’d tell you if it was my secret to tell,” Rome said softly.
“Screw that!” Hailey shouted, her hand instinctively going to her wand.
“Hailey,” Mia said, placing a restricting hand on her arm.
“If she’s not going to be honest with her, I’m not going to put up with it. You’re out of the Shadowers,” Hailey said coldly.
“What? Hailey, come on,” Mia said gently.
“You heard me. You’re out of the Shadowers, Gray,” Hailey said again.
“Fine, I’m going to go get breakfast,” Rome said numbly as she went down the stairs. She didn't want to say something she'd regret.
“Hailey!” Mia hissed as soon as Rome was out of earshot. “It was obvious she was upset! You were being harsh.”
“She wasn’t being honest. I’m not going to put up with liars. She should be out of the common room by now. Let’s go get breakfast,” Hailey said as she ushered Mia down the stairs.
“I hope you know that I’m not getting in the middle of this. I’m both of your friends, and I’m not choosing a side. I’m neutral,” Mia told her.
“Just don’t take her side either,” Hailey muttered.
Mia ignored her, but deep down, she feared for their friendships.
A/N Drama!!! Favorite quotes? Do you think Hailey's overreacting? Do you think Rome should have told them? Do you think Remus is going to forgive Sirius? Mistakes? Thoughts? Feelings? Pairings? Leave 'em in the review box!
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