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Chapter 1 : Consoling Sirius
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Sirius felt sick. But if he felt bad, it was nothing to how Moony would feel when he woke up. When Prongs told him what had happened, which he undoubtedly would, Moony would hate Sirius as much as Prongs did.
Last night was not one of his best.
And if he was honest, that was an understatement.
Potions that morning had not ended well. Snivellus, the disgusting little cretin that he was, had sabotaged his potion while making comments about the moon for two hours.
In return, Sirius had swapped the potions over when Snivellus wasn’t looking, and earned himself a lesson grade of an E. Leaving Snivellus with a D, the slimy git.
So the day had continued, their endless sniping at each other growing more heated and earning them more stern reprimands from their teachers. The jibes grew more vindictive and closer to the invisible line that should not be crossed.
At lunch time, Remus was excused from classes for the rest of the day. Then, as far as Sirius was concerned, Snivellus crossed the line.
He couldn’t even remember exactly what had been said, any of it. None of the remarks that either of them had made remained in his head for longer then it took for his brain to register them and process a response.
It was making his actions hard to explain to anyone, especially Moony. Explaining to Prongs had gone badly, to Dumbledore had been easier in a way, he just sat at his desk and watched over his half moon spectacles as Sirius tried to explain.
James had hardly let him get a word out in between telling him how stupid he’d been and that if he was going to be so stupid as to risk the lives of his friends in that way then maybe he was too selfish to have friends at all.
He may not remember what Snivellus had said to him, or what he had said back, but every word that James and Dumbledore had vocalised seemed burned into his brain.
He was sat on the banks of the lake watching the sun set over the forest. Peter had passed him a note at dinner saying that ‘Moony is awake’. It was the only contact he’d had from either of his friends all day. James and Peter had positioned themselves on the opposite side of the classroom to him in every lesson.
No one else spoke to him either not that he made himself seem approachable in any way. There were a couple of people who looked at him worriedly from across classrooms or the great hall but that was it.
He wasn’t feeling up to facing Moony right now, trying to organise his thoughts to decide what he might say in his own defence. He was drawing a complete blank.
The sun had now set and the lights from the castle were illuminating patches of the grounds. It was getting late and his clothes were starting to get damp with the cold. He stared resolutely at the ripples in the water as they caught the light.
“Shouldn’t you be inside Black?” a female voice sprung out of the darkness surprising him.
Sirius turned his head and looked over his shoulder. A Ravenclaw was standing silhouetted in the light coming from the windows behind her, her prefect badge glinting slightly in the soft moonlight. He turned back to watch the gently rippling water and shrugged.
“Maybe, what you gonna do about it?” he said barely loud enough for her to hear. “Give me a detention?”
“I’m a fifth year Prefect Black,” she replied, sitting down next to him on the bank. She glanced sideways to look at his face, the expression on hers something close to concern, but not soft enough to suggest pity. “So I can’t blackmail you into telling me what’s wrong.”
“I’m sure you’d find a way McKinnon.” He replied bitterly
“Glad you’re finally acknowledging my intellect.” She said with a wry smile.
“You are a Ravenclaw.”
“Yours will never cease to astound me.”
“Marlene, please, I’m not in the mood for a battle of wits with you today.” His voice showing the strain and tiredness brought on by the last 36 hours.
“The next word you want to use is because.” She said encouragingly.
“Because I fucked up. My best friend’s deepest darkest secret was nearly spread around the entire school, and I nearly killed my other best friend. All because I’m a self important, self obsessed idiot who doesn’t think about the consequences of what he does.”
“I take it that’s a quote.” Her intonation suggested a question, and Sirius knew he was expected to answer.
“Ahh, the hot-head extraordinaire.”
“He’s right though.”
“So what if he is? He’s put up with you being that way for five years. As have the rest of us.” She said glancing across at him with concern in her eyes.
“He hates me.”
“At the moment, but he won’t have the choice to not forgive you once Remus does.”
“I know Sirius. I worked it out last year. Dumbledore knows I know. Remus does not.”
“Why not? Why haven’t you old anyone else?”
“It’s not my secret to tell.” She shrugged looking back out across the water.
“Why are you being so nice to me if you know what I’ve done?”
“Because you are, fundamentally, a good person. Yes, you may do stupid things sometimes, but everyone does, look at James, do you really think he’s as perfect as he likes to pretend?”
“Well, no but…”
“But. That’s exactly my point. You acted like an idiot, but I heard some of the things Snape was saying, and I was tempted to punch him. You are so loyal to the people you love, brave to the point of stupidity, but isn’t that what made you a Gryffindor as opposed to a Slytherin?”
“But I nearly ruined Remus’ life.”
“Snape is lucky you didn’t react physically. As it is, he’s fine, yes he could have died, but he didn’t. Yes he could run around the school telling everybody, but that would get him expelled and he knows it. It wouldn’t have been you that ruined his life, it would have been Snape. Maybe you would have been the catalyst no matter how it happened, but Snape would have found a way even if you hadn’t said what you did. The muggle phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’ seems very apt here.”
“But I don’t even remember what I said to him, explaining that to Dumbledore was hard enough, he should have expelled me.”
“Maybe so,” Sirius looked up at her shocked, she shrugged. “But he didn’t.”
“What does that mean?” he asked incredulously.
“He does everything for the reason Sirius.”
“I know that but…”
“Listen to yourself, how much are you going to beat yourself up about this? I know you need James to forgive you, but for that to happen you need to give Remus the chance to do it first. Don’t deny him the chance to hear your side of the story.”
“I don’t know what to say to him.”
“You’ll work it out Sirius.” She stood up. “I’m going inside now. Don’t be too long, or McGonagall will catch you.”
He sat there for a little while longer, until a few more lights from the castle were extinguished and then made his way back up to his dormitory. He looked sadly at the closed hangings around his friends beds, even more so at Remus’ empty bed.
He changed into his pyjamas and climbed into his own bed, pulling his hangings shut. He would get up early and talk to Remus, even if it meant missing breakfast.
Marlene was right, Remus would want to know his side of the story.
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