Chapter 16 : Trouble
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"Whatever you're playing at, Addie, it's not ok."
I span around to face Lily, who was leant against my bedroom door frame with crossed arms and a frown on her face.
"What?" I shot her an annoyed look, rolling my eyes as she held a familiar bit of parchment out to me.
"You shouldn't be reading through Sirius' private letters, Lily."
"He showed it to James and I, actually," she tutted scathingly. "He doesn't understand, you made it obvious you weren't interested before and now you're asking if he wants to come over for the evening? You can't just do that Adrienne."
"Look, Lily," I groaned, standing up from my bed and crossing the room to take the letter from her hands. "Did I say anything in this letter about it being anything more than just as friends?"
"You think I'm just some massive slut, don't you Lily? I'm meant to be one of your best friends and yet you come over here attacking me for asking a friend to come and keep me company for the evening. What is up with you?"
"Sirius doesn't deserve to have you playing around with him!"
"He also doesn't need you continuously getting involved in his own business! Does he even know you're here, Lily?"
"Well..." she cut off, biting her lip awkwardly.
"Exactly," I shoved the letter back into her hand. "You're just interfering for no reason Lily. Can't you just leave it for once?"
"Don't blame me, Adrienne! I'm just looking out for a friend!"
"I'm meant to be your friend too, Lily! Why have you suddenly decided not to trust me?"
"I don't know what's going on with you, Addie, that's why!" she cried out in frustration, tugging on the ends of her red hair. "Mad Eye's been saying that..."
"Oh, I know what Mad Eye's been saying..." I groaned in annoyance. "He thinks that just because I got a letter when I'd been away for a week that suddenly I can't be trusted?"
"Well who was it from anyway? He said it sounded like it was from a boyfriend or something!"
"I was from a friend. It wouldn't matter anyway, because I never gave Sirius the impression that we were spending time together due to anything more than friendship!"
"You did, Addie, you know you did. I don't know what you're up to but I think Mad Eye's right to say not to trust you. You haven't been the same recently."
"I'm worried, Lily! Am I allowed to be more mature after everything that has happened or do I have to permanently stay carefree and happy?! I'm fed up of everyonebut Marlene and David treating me like a child! I'm of age and I'm not an idiot! So just get out Lily, beause I've really had enough."
"If you want people to treat you like an adult, Adrienne, then stop having tantrums and behaving like you've got it worse than everyone else. And stop giving off the impression that you have something to hide. Just grow up."
"Get out!" I screamed, moving to push Lily away from me. "Don't you dare speak to me like that! Everything is fucking perfect for you Lily! You have James, and Sirius and Remus and Peter and all your friends! I don't have anybody anymore. You don't know anything about me these days Lily, so you have absolutely no right to treat me like you know best! Fuck off, why don't you?"
"Fine. If that's what you think, " Lily blinked, looking at me with her fearsome cold expression. "I'll go. I never thought you were a slut, by the way."
With that, she left and I watched her out of my window as she stepped onto the street outside of the house's new protecitive enchantments and apparated out of sight.
I was fuming, angry that I'd even lost Lily now. Who would be next, Marlene? Could my own sister turn on me?
Lily was right. I'd changed. Things were different now.
David was out of St Mungo's in time to accompany Marlene, Grace and I to the Platform on my final day of the holidays.
He still looked fairly worn out, but he was strong enough to give me a huge bear hug and wish me well. Marlene was holding onto Grace tightly, looking around nervously at the surrounding students with their families, as if she expected to be attacked any moment.
"Bye, bye Auntie Addie," Grace sniffed adorably as she hopped up into my arms for a cuddle.
"Bye Gracie," I whispered into her ear as I kissed her gently, closing my eyes and holding her tightly to me. "I'll miss you sweetie."
She pressed her lips to my cheek before I let her down, and she gave me one last wave before pressing her face into her father's leg as she began to cry. Grace had never been a little girl good with goodbyes. But then, neither were Marlene and I.
"Be careful, Ade," Marlene sniffed back tears as we hugged. "I know I always say it, but this past week has really proven to me what can happen... I just worry..."
"I know, I know Marls," I pressed my lips to her cheek as I tucked her hair behind her ear like our mother used to do to us when we were upset when we were little. "But I'll be fine. All that matters to me is that all of you stay safe."
"I love you little sis," she bit her lip as her voice cracked, and I pulled her in for another tight hug.
"I love you big sis," I whispered, holding back my tears with all my might.
As Marlene and I let go of one another, I spotted James and Sirius strolling towards us with grim expressions on their faces.
"I didn't know you were coming," I said, slightly breathless from the effort of holding back tears.
"I wanted to say goodbye," Sirius grinned. "I'm sorry I didn't get to see you much this week..."
"I know, you've been busy, it's fine..."
"No, it's not. I should have come to see you. Lily told me what happened..."
I noticed that James was staring at me with a hard expression, as if was angry and I sighed.
"Don't, Sirius, it's fine... it doesn't matter..."
"Lily was just worried you know," James cut me off with a protective tone. "You didn't have to say all that to her. She's upset."
"You don't think I was too after she came around accusing me of things I haven't done?" I gave James a sharp look.
"Let's not do this..." Sirius stepped between the two of us. "James mate, just calm it."
James rolled his eyes, but turned his back on the pair of us all the same.
"I hope you're alright, Addie?" Sirius bit his lip. "I didn't ask Lily to do that..."
"I know you didn't. She just cares about you, I get it."
"I just want you to know that..." Sirius is interrupted by a shout from along the platform.
We turn our heads to see the source of the noise, to find it's a group of Slytherins from my year.
"Hey Black," Amycus Carrow, closely followed by the rest of his Slytherin cronies and his sister, sneered as he stepped towards us.
"Carrow," Sirius stepped in front of me, James flanking his other side, the pair of them grasping their wands. "What do you want?"
"Nothing much," he shrugged. "Just wondering why you thought it was sensible to come here when you know you're a dirty traitor."
"Get lost if you know what's good for you, Carrow," James snarled.
"Oh, look, it's Potter," Carrow sniggered. "How's the Mudblood girlfriend? Is she dead yet?"
James leapt forward at that and pointed his wand directly at Carrow's throat. The Slytherin's reacted immeditely, drawing their wands and snarling.
"I see you've taken interest in McKinnon, Black," Carrow sneered. "Careful, she's got traitor blood too." His eyes flicked towards Marlene, David and Grace, who were stood apart from us with worried expressions.
"Leave it Amycus," a familiar voice came from the back of the group. "The Aurors are on their way down, and these lot aren't worth it."
The figure pushed himself through the crowd and I watched as Sirius flinched when he caught sight of his brother stepping in to break the crowd up.
"Don't interfere if you know what's good for you, Regulus," Alecto appeared from beside her brother with a cool expression on her face. "People will start to doubt your apparent dislike for your traitor brother."
"Oh, I don't care about him," Regulus scoffed, although I noticed he didn't look at Sirius as he said this. Sirius' mouth was set into a thin line. "But I think this is a stupid idea."
His eyes flickered in my direction just for a second, but it was enough for Alecto to suddenly understand what was happening.
"Awww, how sweet," Alecto crooned. "Regulus has a thing for the traitor McKinnon."
"Don't be foolish Alecto," Regulus replied in a harsh tone.
"I saw that glance you gave her, Regulus," Alecto grinned evilly. "That was no accident."
The Aurors arrived at that moment, ordering all the wands to be withdrawn, but it was too late. Sirius had a slightly strange look on his face as he watched his brother get on the train, closely followed by the menacing group of Slytherins who also seemed to believe Alecto's observations. I hoped Regulus would be alright.
"Has my brother ever done anything...?"
"No, Sirius," I turned to face him with an awkward expression. "I've never spoken to him."
"Alright, well..." he bit his lip, placing his hands on my shoulders. "Just be careful."
With a small kiss on the cheek, he helped me onto the train, not stopping to wave me off as he and James quickly disapparated, noticing the angry purebloods staring in their direction.
Things had definitely changed quickly. The Dark side appeared to be growing stronger by the minute, and I wondered what consequences that would have on my life.
There were whispers about the incident on the platform as I sat down at dinner that evening, and the fourth years who sat beside me were currently debating about what had truly happened.
"Well, whatever it was, it was something serious," one of the boys told the group confidentally. "Have you seen the state of Regulus Black's face?"
Although alarmed, I tried not to instantly look around as I knew it would be suspicious. As it happened, it appeared I was in luck however, as Regulus entered the Great Hall as I looked up.
I held in my gasp as his face came into my view, as it was covered in purplish bruises and he seemed to be holding back winces as he moved.
They'd beaten him up because they thought he was a traitor.
All because of me.
I could barely eat my dinner, trying hard to keep my eyes off Regulus' face as I was desperate to run to him and try to help. Although I knew that would just make it all worse.
I managed to hold in my sympathies for the duration of the dinner, and waited until the Slytherin table had been cleared of all but Regulus before I retired from the Great Hall with the last crowd of other Ravenclaws.
I made sure that Regulus was behind me, presumably watching me, before I made a detour into a neighbouring corridor that was a secret passageway to the Room of Requirement. I didn't stop moving, constantly staying ahead of Regulus as I made my way through the castle until I reached the large doors of the elusive room.
After a moment, I slipped into the room, closing the door behind me and taking a seat on the large bed I'd visualised. Regulus wasn't far behind me.
"Don't," he sighed as he closed the door behind him, avoiding my worried expression. "It's alright Adrienne."
"No it's not," I gasped as I moved to wrap my arms around him, become more careful as I noticed him flinch. I hadn't realised how close I was to tears until they suddenly began to slip down my cheeks. "I'm so sorry, Regulus. This is all my fault."
"It's anything but your fault," he took my face into his hands, wiping the tears from my cheeks. "I shouldn't have made it so obvious. I brought it onto myself."
"Do they honestly think we're...?"
"No," he snorted bitterly. "I took the beating and that's all that matters to them. Like I expected. They don't genuinely believe there's something going on. I made sure they wouldn't come after you."
"I can't believe they did this to you... it makes me sick," I whispered, burying my face into his chest as he wrapped his arms around me.
"It doesn't matter, it doesn't even hurt..." he winced as he shuffled towards the four poster bed in the centre of the room. "... That much."
We lay down beside one another, and I slowly traced my fingers along his injuries.
"I don't know how to fix them..."
"You don't need to," he smiled. "Don't feel guilty, Adrienne, please."
"I hate to see you hurt," I sniffed as I kissed his cheek, slipping my arms around his body.
"I'd rather it was me any day," he turned to kiss me, slowing carressing my lips with his as his hand buried into my hair.
"I love you," I smiled into his lips as we broke apart, causing him to laugh quietly and press his lips back to mine.
"I'll love you through whatever, Adrienne," he promised, entwining our hands between us. "No matter what."
"No matter what," I repeated, closing my eyes so the tears disappeared and kissing him once more.
I know it's been sooo long, and I'd ask you to forgive me but it doesn't seem fair. I'll try to improve my update speed, it used to be so good! :( thanks to those who are still there despite it all! x
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