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Chapter 41 : Forty One. To Be Alone
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March 29, 1977
It was on a swift walk with Lily back from Herbology when Marlene noticed the snowflake.
The girls had stayed after class to finish drawing diagrams of the twenty latest plants that Professor Sprout had introduced; well, Lily, the perfectionist had stayed to clean up her sketches, and Marlene had offered to keep her company. It really was no inconvenience to her. She had already given a quick kiss to Remus, who apparently had to rush off to McGonagall’s office to apologize for some shenanigans with James and Peter. With no one to walk hand-in-hand to lunch with, Marlene also had resigned to correct her own drawings, but unintentionally, she ended up sketching the initials “RJL” into her Herbology notes instead.
Three weeks together with him, and she still couldn’t get him out of her head as much as she pretended otherwise.
“Done!” Lily announced, closing her notebook. “You ready?”
Marlene snapped her notebook closed before Lily could see her incriminating lack of work. “Yep!”
“I feel okay about the material we learned in class today. Not too hard, which is nice since Transfigurations is impossible,” said Lily. “I don’t know how Potter and Black and even Pettigrew are doing so well keeping up with that class! That’s the most surprising part! That Peter suddenly seems to be doing best in our year... and we’re working with rats! It’s difficult, and out of nowhere, McGonagall is awarding him points to Gryffindor every class for his ‘natural ease.’ Don’t get me wrong; kudos to Peter. But I’ve never seen him have a natural ease in his life until now!”
Marlene merely nodded, letting Lily continue spouting her frustration with the boys. She was hardly listening; her mind was still elsewhere. This continued until the girls reached the courtyard. A particularly vicious wind caused goosebumps to rise on their skin, despite being wrapped in jackets and winter cloaks.
“Merlin. This weather is worse than it was during winter. I know you love wintertime, but it’s not my thing. Still, I’d take it over this. Now it’s just as cold but also gray,” said Lily. “And it rains all the time. It’s just hopeless.”
They had reached the outdoor passageways that wound around the courtyard and eventually led to the interior of the castle. It provided a small escape from the window and the constant drizzle, and they had almost reached the doors, when Marlene spotted the snowflake. It was the bigger than a usual snowflake--the size of a sickle--and it was just floating there, at her eye level.
“...I think I’ll take a nap today after Charms Club. We have a lot to do for Flitwick, but I’m worn out... Marlene?” Lily had noticed Marlene had stopped walking. “What is that?”
“It’s a snowflake,” said Marlene, catching it in her palm. For a few moments, it sat in her hand, and then it began to disappear. It didn’t melt; it just disappeared. “How curious. What kind of magic is this?”
“I don’t know,” said Lily, crossing her arms close to her body when the wind whipped through the passage. She shivered. “Must be a remnant of a charm or something. Beautiful.”
Marlene took one last look around, but nothing. She noticed Lily’s teeth were chattering. Even though she was still curious, she pried herself away, looped her arm through Lily’s, and they continued on their way.
But as soon as they were through the doors, there was yet another snowflake. And another. And another. They were appearing--not fading--a meter above her head and they were falling slowly to the ground where they promptly disappeared. As she and Lily continued to walk, the snowfall only increased.
“It’s gorgeous!” gasped Lily, who had noticed the way the snowflakes were collecting around them and catching in their hair. In fact, in Marlene’s hair, they seemed like ornaments. Marlene wore them well.
Marlene looked up and laughed. “Winter isn’t over!” She looked to Lily to smile, and in the process, she realized how the snowfall only increased further down the hallway. It didn’t seem to be flurries toward the end of the corridor. Intrigued, Marlene grabbed Lily’s wrist and dragged her further on, into a storm of snowfall. She looked up incredulously, caught in the midst of so much snow, and she looked to Lily to exchange an incredulous smile--but Lily was already smiling knowingly, her gaze directed down the stairwell that they stood in front of. Marlene followed her gaze.
The girls stood at the top of the Grand Staircase, looking out over the Entrance Hall. It was enveloped in snow, and everything seemed very much like winter again. It was warm and cozy, with subtle lighting, but there were snowflakes falling everywhere--intricate snowflakes that each looked like a piece of art if you looked at them closely. A group of students that had just exited the Great Hall tried to catch flakes on their tongue, and on the other side of the Hall, a few girls were shielding their hair.
But right in the middle of the Hall, staring back at her with a smile on his face, was Remus. His wand was at his side, but obviously in use, and James and Peter weren’t far behind--at the moment both distracted trying to gather the fleeting snowflakes into snowballs.
Marlene felt her stomach drop, and she smiled back at Remus. She wanted to rush to him, say thank you, kiss him, but at the moment when she was deciding just what she would say to him, Peter and James jumped on Remus, hugged him, tousled his hair.
With his arm around Remus’ shoulder, James grinned up at Marlene. “You two are so cute, I’m going to vomit,” he yelled, before clapping Remus on the back once more and dragging him and Peter off towards the Great Hall.
Marlene couldn’t help but smile on her whole walk with Lily to find the nearest bathroom for a quick break before lunch. She felt lucky and appreciated and like she was finally doing something right.
“He knows you so well,” said Lily. “He may have been a little slow when it came to starting the relationship, but Merlin, is he making up for it. What was it he brought you the other day? A pie?”
“A cheesecake,” said Marlene. “From Honeydukes. A whole cheesecake. I mean, I couldn’t eat it all; he helped me with it, and I’m convinced James or Peter stole a piece too, but still...”
“Not just that, but the way he looks at you in class... He adores you, Mar,” Lily said decidedly as they reached the nearest bathroom.
“Things feel perfect. It’s working so well. It’s like we just slid right into this, and everything aligned perfectly. I mean, I know you don’t like to be around James and company too often, but I think they’ve been surprisingly well-behaved lately--” began Marlene.
“James has been fine. He’s bothersome like always, but he doesn’t seem so ill-intentioned all of the sudden. Plus it was hilarious when he got stuck with the pink rhinestone gloves in class today,” said Lily, washing the dirt off her hands from the Herbology lesson. “And as far as Black... well, he hasn’t been around to cause trouble. Who knows where he’s run off to.”
“A girl, undoubtedly,” said Marlene, the smile suddenly disappearing from her face. “He needs to figure things out. He’s been hanging out with Saphira a lot... and it seems he’s also been with Effie.”
“Our Effie?” asked Lily, sounding shocked. “How do you know that? It’s not like she’s ever in the dorm. It’s not like she ever does much talking to us either. Actually, I never thought she talked to anybody but Jared Winbrook...”
“Maybe it’s not true, but that’s what it says right here,” said Marlene, who had noticed a new layer of graffiti had appeared on the stall doors.
The students at Hogwarts usually respected the castle, and there was little vandalism... except for in the bathrooms. Students cast the most bizarre charms on their graffiti on the stall doors--mostly so that it flashed in bright colors and constantly rearranged itself to seem suspenseful and attention-grabbing.
And it worked too.
Marlene had merely looked in the mirror and saw behind her head that Sirius’ name was written in letters that went from pale to vibrant pink rapidly. She had turned around to better examine what it said, out of curiosity. It wasn’t that she believed all of the gossip and graffiti that went around Hogwarts, but it was hard to ignore.
Next to Sirius’ name, there was a plus sign, and then Effie’s name. After about five seconds, her name disappeared and was replaced by Saphira’s. Her name eventually disappeared to be replaced by Kelly Branstone’s, then Lena Fitzroy’s, Ella Nessen’s. Marlene watched it cycle through all of the names, and then return back to Effie.
“What is this? This is disgusting,” said Lily, who had joined Marlene. “It’s cruel--really! Just vicious! It’s cruel to Black and to all of the girls who are listed here!” Lily waved her wand at the graffiti, but it wouldn’t budge. Not a cleaning spell. Not an erasing spell. “I’ll have to tell Flitwick about it. Maybe he can teach me some better charms to remove this mess. It’s definitely against privacy rules if it can monitor Sirius’ every move.”
“Well it’s probably against privacy rules, but it can’t monitor his every move. Whoever wrote the graffiti doesn’t know about me or MJ at least,” said Marlene.
But at that moment, Effie’s name disappeared only to be replaced with pink shining letters: Marlene McKinnon.
“Shit!” said Marlene, holding out her hand and ready to erase the graffiti... only she realized she didn’t know the counterjinx. “No! Fuck! What have I done?”
Marlene had to curse again when Mary Jane’s name appeared on the wall. Lily dropped her brow in concern, and Marlene tried to apologize.
“--It’s not your fault,” said Lily, even if she did look disappointed. “I guess this relies on word of mouth. You didn’t know. Only the worst of girls would think of this.”
“MJ is going to be so upset with me... And I already feel like she hasn’t forgiven me for being with Sirius to begin with... She always runs off whenever I come in the room,” said Marlene.
“She does that to me too,” said Lily. “It’s not just you. I don’t know what’s going on with her.”
“Well, soon she’ll be bolting from the room because of me if it isn’t already. Now that I’ve gone ahead and added to this damn gossipy graffiti...” said Marlene. “If it weren’t incriminating for Sirius, I would go ahead and add a bunch of random names so it would be obviously untruthful.”
“I have a feeling that wouldn’t work,” said Lily. “Hang on a sec. I’ll test it out.”
“You don’t want your name up there, Lily!” exclaimed Marlene.
“Just trust me,” she said. She leaned forward close to the graffiti, as if she was whispering to it. “I, Lily Evans, have also hooked up with Sirius Black.”
But the graffiti did nothing.
“Well that’s good at least!” said Marlene, relieved.
Lily still had a knitted brow. “No, it’s worse. It means this graffiti can distinguish between rumor and truth. That’s dark magic. No wonder charms can’t remove it; they aren’t strong enough. Okay, so true, it’s just used for silly schoolgirl stuff now, but it’s still being used to hurt people.”
And while that was a concern for Marlene, still, she was most worried that this graffiti would ignite some kind of article in their gossipy school paper... And then there was MJ’s reaction to look forward to. How she’d love the school to find out about her flop of a romance with Sirius... and how she’d appreciate that Marlene was behind it all.
“Let’s pull a prank.”
“Moony! Get out! I’m in the bath!” exclaimed Peter, hastily trying to draw the curtain around the tub in their bathroom.
“Did I hear somebody say ‘prank?’” asked James, also poking his head in. “Oh lovely smell! Is that lavender? Are you using bath salts, Wormy?”
“Get out!” said Peter helplessly--really, he had already resigned. If James wanted a conversation while Peter was in the bath, James would undoubtedly win.
“Are those Sirius’? I know he keeps this coconut soap, but I can never find it,” said James.
Peter sighed. “Can’t you take that up with Sirius?”
“Wait. So what kind of prank are we pulling?” asked James. “Did you suggest it, Moony? How scandalous for a Prefect!”
“I mean, I have some ideas,” said Remus. “Why have we never pranked Dumbledore, for one? Yadda yadda, he’s a great bloke. And to show our admiration, we should give him a great prank! And remember when we hexes some Slytherins to dance at the school feast? Dumbledore got up there and tried to start the wave. He can definitely take a joke.”
“Aiming high. I like that!” said James, who took a seat on the edge of the tub to collect his thoughts.
“Can you not sit there, please?!” asked Peter, who was trying to cover himself with bubbles when James’ body loosened the shower curtain. “And Moony, can you not sit on the sink. You’re facing me, and that’s even weirder.”
“I’m not looking, Wormtail. That’s the thing I’d least like to do in the world,” said Remus. “Anyway, where’s Padfoot? If anyone knows how to get into Dumbledore’s office, it’s him. He heads over there enough.”
“Who knows where Sirius is these days,” said James. “But you underestimate me, Moony ol’ boy. I’ve been there plenty of times too.”
“We all have,” said Peter, who had given up any hope that he would enjoy his bath in peace. “But Sirius most recently. Do you know the password, Prongs?”
“The password? Pfft! That’s for amateurs! The better question is whether I can sweet talk the gargoyles outside the office. And by the way, the answer is yes,” said James, running a hand through his hair. “Okay. Well, I’ve never tried, but I’ll see what I can do. What we really should think about is what we’ll do once we’re inside the office. How do we prank Dumbledore? This isn’t the run-of-the-mill revenge on Slytherins thing. This has to be good!”
“Well, do either of you actually know anything about Dumbledore? Like personally?” asked Peter.
Both James and Remus were lost in thought for a moment.
“Sure. He likes socks.”
The boys turned their attention to the door. Sirius had unceremoniously joined them in the bathroom, and without questioning why they were all crowded around a naked Peter in the bath, he scooted around Remus to grab his toothbrush.
“There you are!” said James. “I’ve been thinking about drawing up some Lost Dog posters to look for you. Merlin knows I haven’t seen Snuffles much lately.”
Sirius didn’t respond to James. Instead, he spoke with the toothbrush in his mouth. “Why are you three pranking Dumbledore?”
James blinked at Sirius for a moment--surprised that he would say “you three.” But quickly, he composed himself, rose from the edge of the tub, and flung an arm around Sirius. “What do you mean? You’re helping too, so I hope.”
James looked at Sirius by the mirror in front of them. Sirius had dark circles under his eyes and his face was greasier than usual. He was wearing his uniform--dirt splotches from Herbology and an inkstain from a few days before. It seemed Sirius had decided to cover his own smell by spraying a thick layer of cologne over his entire body. And if James wasn’t mistaken, there was something else too.
“Have you been smoking?!” James asked, leaning away from his friend.
“Of course not,” said Sirius mechanically, ducking out of James’ arm to spit his toothpaste out. “So what’s your plan?”
“Nothing yet,” said James. “Socks, you say? Hmm. Maybe we can work with that.”
“You don’t want to fuck with the Slytherins instead?” asked Sirius, wiping the toothpaste off his face. “Bastards deserve it on the sole purpose that they’re Slytherins.”
“Thought about it,” said Remus. “But nixed it. I’m feeling like I need something light-hearted for now.”
“Oh right,” said Sirius flatly. “Because you’re in love.”
“Oh come on. Don’t be like that,” said Remus.
“Be like what?” Sirius asked innocently. “And plus, you aren’t in l-o-v-e? Why so hesitant?”
“Come on Padfoot. We’ve been dating for three weeks,” said Remus.
“Cute,” said Sirius. “But I heard about your little winter wonderland for her today. If that’s not love--”
“Just shut up, okay?” interjected Peter.
Sirius’ eyes flicked to Peter for the first time. “Why are you naked?”
“I lost my clothes,” said Peter sarcastically. “Goddammit. Does no one respect that I like to take baths?!” he exclaimed.
“I’d love to talk about it, but I have to be on my way,” said Sirius. “It’s been a pleasure. Hopefully when I next see you, Wormy, you won’t be so naked and pruny.”
“Where are you going?” asked James, his shoulders sinking with Sirius announcing his exit. “Wanna grab some dinner with us?”
“Nah, can’t,” said Sirius. “But there’s something going on in Ravenclaw tonight. Fifth year girl’s dorm if you wanna drop by.”
“It’s a Tuesday. We have class early tomorrow,” said Remus.
“And?” asked Sirius, throwing his washrag on the floor and ducking out of the room. “See ya.”
On her walk back across the castle grounds, MJ found herself wishing for a broomstick or a magic carpet or anything that would take the weight off her shoulders. Around her neck, she had her heavy muggle camera, and in her bookbag, she carried a wizard’s dozen rolls of film that she hadn’t developed. It had been three weeks since she had last visited the Room of Requirement, three weeks since she hadn’t spoken to Regulus, three weeks she had spent avoiding him.
She knew she didn’t want to avoid him forever, but for now, it seemed like the best course of action. She had trusted him with sensitive details about her feelings, and for the first time, Regulus hadn’t just listened to her; he’d pounced on her, criticized how she felt. Maybe he had tried to apologize, but he had alarmed her by suggesting he had really come to care about her...
And there was nothing more that she hated thinking about than how she was caught in a ridiculous, manipulative web of the Black brothers.
Today, the figurative web seemed to manifest itself physically. Walking back from the Quidditch Pitch where she had taken the Gryffindor team photo, she saw Regulus reclining by the lake reading. Of course, his eyes seemed to find hers as soon as she glanced at him. He hadn’t been following her--she hoped--but MJ had sure seen a lot more of Regulus outside of the Room of Requirement lately. He closed his book, and MJ was sure he was going to jump up to talk to her.
However, she was “saved” by the emergence of Sirius from the path leading from the bridge. He was accompanied by Effie, the roommate that rarely returned to the dorm.
There were two Gryffindors who were especially cliquey--and only with each other. Effie was one, and the other was her best friend, Jared Winbrook, who was undoubtedly a hippie. Earlier that year, MJ had had a rare conversation with him at a Quidditch match in which he confided that he sought out different areas of the castle to call home depending on his mood. And of course, Effie was his independent, detached, yet free-loving best friend.
The Gryffindor girls had decided early on that Effie wasn’t too open to making friends with girls in general. She cycled through boyfriends and kept Jared by her side constantly, but she’d never had a group of friends. The thing about Effie was that she was neither friendly nor unfriendly, and so seeing Effie smiling and giggling was surprising to MJ. Effie climbed up the path first, and Sirius’ fingers grazed the bottom of her skirt.
MJ wanted to look away, but literally, her only option was Regulus. And she could just imagine he’d adopt some sort of I-told-you-so expression. He had never liked her friendship with Sirius in the first place. So instead of acknowledging either of the Black brothers, she looked at her shoes and walked as quickly as she could back in the direction of the castle.
She turned a sharp corner, and suddenly she collided with another person, tried to find her balance, but ended up in a crumpled heap in the muddy grass. She managed to look up a bit; light rain was still falling so she had to shield her eyes with her hand, but there was a silhouette she distinguished as Jared Winbrook’s. He was slipping and sliding to stay on his own feet as well, but unlike MJ, he eventually regained his balance by steading himself against the castle wall.
“Nice running into you, Mary Jane,” he said, slightly sarcastically, but then he grinned down at her.
“I’m sorry!” she said. “Really!”
“Don’t worry about it. I’m fine. Are you okay? It looks like you ended up a little worse for wear,” he said, referring to the mud that had caked onto her arms and uniform.
“Fine,” she said, rising to her feet. “I had Herbology today anyway. I already had dirt all over.”
“Oh right. Herbology. I haven’t been to that class in... a month? More?” said Jared.
MJ gave him an incredulous look, “You’re in that class?”
“Ha. Have you also forgotten I’m in Gryffindor?” said Jared.
“No!... Okay, well sometimes,” said MJ, giving him a smile.
He smiled back, but checked his watch.
“I’m sorry. Am I keeping you?” asked MJ.
“No, no. I’m waiting on someone--Effie, actually. She’s fifteen minutes late,” said Jared. “She’s been blowing me off a lot lately, and well, three guesses why.”
His gaze was fixed in the direction from which MJ had come, and when she turned around, Effie was heading their way, still accompanied by Sirius. But when Sirius saw MJ, he hung back--started walking slowly, then stopped walking altogether. His eyes were boring into her, and she suddenly felt so self-conscious about being covered in mud.
“Hey! Sorry I’m late!” Effie yelled as she approached.
Jared sighed so that only MJ could hear, and then he smiled back at Effie, “You’re always late. 3 o’clock to you means 3:15.”
“And to you, it means 2:45,” she said, finally reaching them. “Oh hi, Mary Jane. Anyway, ready to go, Jared?”
“Wait. Just one more second, I promise,” said Effie, holding out a finger and turning on her heel. She ran back to Sirius and said something to him in a low voice. And then her arms were resting on his shoulders and she kissed him a not-so-quick goodbye.
MJ and Jared, who had both been watching, had to turn away. They exchanged disgusted expressions that clearly said, “This is so awkward and painful.”
But soon enough, Effie was back, dragging Jared away. He shrugged at MJ, said “See you later,” and left her there with Sirius just a few meters away.
Though he wasn’t covered in mud, Sirius did look a little beat up. He hadn’t shaved recently, his uniform shirt was missing a couple buttons, and his face seemed gaunt as if he’d skipped more than a few meals. His usual expression--the way he looked at her with those unreadable eyes--now just made him look hungry, vicious, deranged.
“What?” snapped MJ.
He shrugged his shoulders. “Nothing.”
“Fine. I’ll see you later.”
“Can you not even look at me anymore?” he asked when she was turning on her heel to enter the courtyard to go back to the castle.
His question surprised her. Her stomach dropped, and she had to suppress her imagination: she knew it wouldn’t happen, but she couldn’t help but hope he would apologize, ask for help.
“I am looking at you,” she spat.
“But you’re not,” he said.
“What are you going on about? We’re fine. Things are fine,” said MJ.
“Why are you always alone now?” asked Sirius. “I never see you with Marlene or Lily or Meadows.”
“You’re never with James, Peter, and Remus,” replied MJ.
“So we’re both alone,” said Sirius.
“Doesn’t look like you were alone,” said MJ. “Weren’t you just with Effie?”
“Weren’t you just with Jared?”
“That’s different. I ran into him. I wasn’t doing anything with him,” said MJ.
“Is that what you think? That having Effie around makes me any less alone?” asked Sirius.
Before she could answer, Sirius turned his head with the alertness of a dog. She followed his gaze, and heading towards them was Regulus.
“What are you doing here?” hissed Sirius.
“Going back to the castle after an afternoon reading. I was unaware I needed a password to pass into the courtyard,” said Regulus dryly. “What happened to you? You look like you were attacked by a band of banshees.”
Sirius drew his wand, waved it effortlessly, and sent Regulus hanging upside down as if his foot were attached to an invisible notch in the air. “Shut up, Reg,” he growled and promptly stomped away.
MJ was silent for a moment while Sirius was still within earshot. Then she asked Regulus, “Do you need help getting down?”
“I’ve got it,” said Regulus, drawing his wand. With one silent wave, he was back with his feet on the ground. “Simplest jinx and counterjinx around, but still, he’s a bother.”
“Sirius? Yeah. Lately, yes,” said MJ.
“You have a lot of film to develop,” said Regulus.
“It’s just landscapes and Gryffindor Quidditch team photos. Nothing important,” said MJ.
“Is that why you haven’t been to the Room of Requirement recently? Nothing important to develop?” asked Regulus.
She knew what his words implied, but she didn’t feel like playing games. “Sirius has been annoying lately, yes, and I know you’ll try to make me talk about it. And I didn’t feel like hearing your judgment.”
“I’m not judging you. I’m not even trying to say I know him better than you do. I’m just saying he stresses you out and possibly manipulates you at times. Not anymore, and I think you recognize all of this. I don’t see how anything I’ve said really conflicts with anything you believe either,” said Regulus.
“But do you really have to be so smug about everything?” snapped MJ. “It’s always like you have this expression that means you know best. There! You’re doing it now! Stop it!”
“I don’t have that expression.”
“You do! You smirk.”
“I. smirk,” repeated Regulus dryly.
“Stop it! You’re doing it!” said MJ. “I said stop!”
“I’ll stop if you start coming back to the Room of Requirement,” said Regulus. “Tonight. After dinner.”
“Missed me?” asked MJ flatly.
Regulus rolled his eyes.
“Is that a yes?” she asked again.
“You realize that most of the company I keep in the Slytherin Common Room is dull and unprofitable,” said Regulus. “Plus, aren’t your Defense grades suffering without my homework help?”
“My grades are fine, thanks,” said MJ, not so much defensively as playfully. She had forgotten how enjoyable their conversations were, even if he could be such a smart aleck at times.
Voices had been lightly resounding from the nearby courtyard, but now they were noticeably approaching. Both MJ and Regulus had stopped bickering to listen. There were two clear voices:
The first had a softer quality, relaxed, pensive. “--I’m just saying, she could be scared into it! Corner her. Make her feel alone. Isolation. That’s what works with them.”
“Her? Not a chance in hell! She’s just like Potter and Black. Stubborn bastards,” said the second--deeper, angrier.
“Well, obviously Black’s a no. Filthy blood-traitor, but has anyone actually cornered Potter before? He puts up the tough act, but if he doesn’t have his little gaggle of useless blokes around--”
“--He’s a golden boy. He thinks he’s a prince on a white horse. She’s the best bet. And she’s actually worth our time too. What can Potter and Black do anyway? Cast a breeze that ruffles a few skirts? That’s nothing! We’ll go after her. We know she actually has potential anyway,” said the second.
The voices were nearing, and before MJ could really see what was going on, Regulus pushed her aside, behind one of the columns to the entrance to the courtyard. Swiftly, he left her to join the sources of the voices:
“Rosier, Wilkes. Can you speak up? I think there’s a deaf witch in Thailand that didn’t hear you!” hissed Regulus.
“What’s good, Black?” asked the one that MJ assumed was Rosier.
“Look. It’s really Snape’s job to be the narc, not mine,” said Regulus, “but you have got to save this conversation for your sleepovers well away from public area. What if I had been Dumbledore or something?”
“Always worrying, Reg,” said the other, Wilkes. “What if? What if? Sure, but it was just you. Not Dumbledore.”
“I’m just saying,” said Regulus.
“Alright, alright,” said Rosier. “You have a point. We’ll save it for tonight anyway. Mulciber’s house-elf brought us some booze. You should come by our room tonight for our little party. After dinner.”
The voices were dying as they walked back toward the castle, but MJ could hear Regulus decline, saying he already had plans. And suddenly, the fact that the Hogwarts Death Eaters were after some girl went straight from MJ’s memory.
hihihi--warmest hellos! i've missed you all and writing and oh so many things. i have a long list of excuses for being 4 months gone from HPFF, the most noteable is that i have moved to argentina... and i left my flash drive at home! the horror!! i was just emailed my files, and so without further ado, chapter 41. i hate that this chapter is a little lackluster after such a long absence, but i hope it's better than nothing. :-) love, vintageoctober.
p.s. who else wants to vomit at how cute marlene and remus are? barf.
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