Chapter 10 : Ten
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Empty Hogwarts’ Corridor outside of Gryffindor Tower
As Told By Marlene McKinnon
“Why are we here, Doe?” I asked Dorcas exasperatedly. For the past day and a half, she had been badgering me about wanting to “talk alone”.
Dorcas, crossing her arms and looking at me sternly, said, “I think you and I both know why we need to talk.”
“Because I ditched Muggle Studies?” I suggested, plastering on my best “forgive-me-please” smile for her. My heart pounded, despite my calm façade. “Sorry. I just really didn’t want to go to class.”
Dorcas gave me her best no nonsense look, and I almost faltered. She looked as if she knew something that she wasn’t supposed to.
“I know there’s something going on between you and Sirius, Marls,” Dorcas said firmly, her light green eyes shooting disapproving glares at me. My heart stopped. “I don’t know what and I don’t know how, but I know there’s something going on. You want to start talking or for me to start guessing?”
“Okay, wait, what?” I laughed nervously, trying to dispel the growing feeling of dread that was building up inside of me. How the fuck could I try to talk myself out of this? “You don’t know that.”
Dorcas sighed. Leaning against the wall, she told me coolly, “Then explain to me why you and Sirius happened to be together when Bellatrix came to Hogwarts.”
“I met him at the library! He had a ton of books with him, you can ask,” I insisted, looking at Dorcas right in the eye and not blinking, as I had been taught.
“Why is Sirius at the library so much? Mary said she saw him the other day and thought it was the oddest thing ever,” Dorcas pondered with a frown.
I shrugged, relieved that the conversation was off from me. “I think it’s got to do with Transfiguration. One of the titles had something about the theories behind how Metamorphmagus witches and wizards can transform themselves so easily.
“Is he struggling in Transfiguration?”
“He can’t be. Have you seen how brilliant he is in class?!” I exclaimed, letting my jealousy and admiration of Sirius’s Transfiguration skills shine through my words.
“You know so much, Marls. I never pegged you to be the type to be interested in Sirius Black,” Dorcas teased, giving me the look that told me she knew all about my feelings.
“Of course I don’t,” I scoffed without conviction. “And even if I did, he doesn’t date, apparently.”
“What’d you mean, he doesn’t date?”
“I mean, have you see him ever date? I thought that even if he did date, he would date a Muggleborn to make his parents angry. Sirius seems to always have a thing to do his parents in, so why not date a Muggleborn?”
Dorcas grimaced. Getting up off of the wall and throwing her arms over my shoulders, she replied, “Maybe that’s why he won’t date you. His parents would at least somewhat approve since you’re still a pureblood.”
“Yeah, and instead he comes up with a brilliant plan about snogging each other instead,” I mumbled bitterly.
Immediately, as soon as I said it, I regretted it. Dorcas’s eyes widened and she stopped in her tracks to look at me with shock. “So that’s what you two are doing. Snogging each other? I had thought you were secretly dating and wouldn’t tell the rest of us!”
I groaned, hiding my face in my palms. How did I fall for Dorcas’ traps?!
After several seconds of silence, I said, “I hated the plan. I wanted him to just take me out on a date to Hogsmeade but he wouldn’t. But he’s such a wonderful kisser, and he listens to me! He’s like my best friend sometimes.”
“I listen to you…” Dorcas muttered quietly, though not quietly enough for me to miss. “And I thought I was your best friend.”
“I’m sorry,” I replied, leaning my head on Dorcas’s shoulders. Sighing heavily, I suddenly thought of how nice it was to have let it off my shoulders. “I should have told you. But everything’s just working out so well. I think I might get him to ask me on a date to Hogsmeade pretty soon.”
“Promise me you’ll tell the others. They deserve the right to know.”
“Jennifer will murder me.”
“Only if you hide it any longer.”
“I’ll tell them as soon as Sirius agrees to a date. It won’t be long, and I promise I will tell them,” I pleaded with Dorcas, my eyes begging for her to agree.
She hesitated, as she rightly should. “I dunno…”
“It’ll just be another week because we have a Hogsmeade trip coming up, and then even if he doesn’t, I promise that I will tell the other girls,” I promised, holding up my pinkie.
Lily and Mary had once introduced us to a concept in the Muggle world called a “pinkie promise”, in which a promise made shouldn’t be broken. Ever since, a “pinkie promise” is our way of a non-binding (and far less dangerous) Unbreakable Vow.
“You pinkie promise?”
“I do,” I told Dorcas firmly.
Fourth Year: October 28th, 1973
As Told By Marlene McKinnon
“I don’t know how I have ever lived so long without Honeydukes’ candy!” Lily exclaimed happily, her arms laden with Honeydukes’ candy. “This type of miraculous wonder of a candy ought to be shared with the rest of the world!”
We had spent the better part of the last hour in Honeydukes. The slowly chillingly weather meant that we much preferred to be indoors, but the fresh batch of chocolate bars was far too enticing to ignore.
“Only if you’ll share some with the rest of us,” Jennifer teased, nudging Lily playfully as she eyed all the candy that Lily was holding. “Honestly, Lils. I never took you for one to be so obsessed with candy.”
Lily shrugged, her eyes twinkling good naturedly. She turned towards the rest of the stores at Hogsmeade and replied, “It’s mostly for Tuney. She replied to my letter the other day. She sounded extremely cheerful about her date with some bloke named Vernon, so I thought that I would get her some candy as a congratulations for a good date. We always had a thing for comparing which type of candy is better.”
“You better get a fast owl,” Mary advised with a smile. “I always think that Honeydukes’ toffees taste the best when eaten straight away.”
“That I agree with!” Jennifer exclaimed as she rubbed her hands together, blowing into them for warmth. “Shall we head on to The Three Broomsticks? I think my fingers are slowly turning to icicles.”
Lily rolled her eyes as she said, “I told you to wear my gloves, didn’t I? I warned you it would get chilly, didn’t I?”
Grumbling, Jennifer led the way as the five of us trooped into the Three Broomsticks, taking shelter at one of the more spacious tables in the back of the pub.
As we sat down, I realized my window of opportunity to tell the girls what I had promised Dorcas I would do the last time we talked alone.
“I’ll order for us five butterbeers,” Jennifer offered graciously as she headed over to the counter.
She hadn’t been gone more than 15 seconds before she rushed back with panic.
“What happened?” Dorcas asked, alarmed.
“It’s Sirius’s birthday,” Jennifer said in a conspiratorial whisper. “I completely forgot. I just saw him and James over at the counter flirting with Madame Rosmerta.”
I barely heard Mary’s follow-up question regarding why Remus and Peter weren’t with the dynamic duo, as I felt a shock go through my body.
It was Sirius’s birthday, and I didn’t even know about it.
For a moment, I recognized the fact that I hadn’t bothered to figure out his birthday any time before today, either.
The confusion, however, I felt at whether I was upset or relieved threw me into a wave of calamity. What ownership or claim did I have over Sirius at all except for my feelings? I had been so silly, thinking that betraying the trust of my friends is worth a date with a bloke.
“… didn’t get him a present,” I drifted back into the conversation, hearing the last bits of Jennifer’s sentence.
“Well, do you want to go shopping right now? We can get him something from Hogsmeade before the end of the day,” Lily offered anxiously.
I raised my eyebrows incredulously at her. “Lily Evans, offering to go buy a present for Sirius Black? I never thought the day would come!”
“Actually, it’s more like I’m accompanying Jennifer to buy a present. And even though I really dislike Black, you can’t just not get a birthday present for one of your friends!” Lily exclaimed, standing up. She pulled on her coat and nodded at Jennifer. “Come on. I’ll go with you. I’ve shopped for Sev plenty of times.”
“Oh dear. Don’t let Sirius know that,” Dorcas snorted as she stood up herself. She started to shrug on her coat as well.
Taking the hint, Mary asked, “Are we all going? I’m afraid I won’t be much help.”
“Mare, you don’t have to come if you prefer to stay here. I mean, really none of you have to. I just really should get him a present though. Merlin knows that he deserves one,” Jennifer said apologetically . She glanced behind her anxiously as if afraid that Sirius would sneak up. “And Lils, you really don’t have to come if you don’t want to.”
“Come off it. It won’t be that bad,” Lily said. She slung her arms through Jennifer’s arms and told her, “And it’ll be fun. I promise I won’t let my dislike for Black get in the way.”
Jennifer looked at Lily with uncertainty. “Okay… and really, you three just stay here and enjoy the warmth. Hogsmeade days don’t come along every single weekend.”
“Do you want us to meet you back up at the castle?” I asked as casually as I could manage. Some Gryffindor I was. I had absolutely no courage to do what I needed to do.
“Yes, I think you should. I don’t know how long we’ll take, and I prefer to send Sirius his gift by owl post,” Jennifer said.
Mary frowned. Tilting her head in confusion she asked, “Why owl post?”
“I think it makes him feel better,” Jennifer shrugged nonchalantly. “Owl post for him is horrible half of the time, I think. He always gets moody after a letter from his parents. It’s nicer for him to receive something nice by owl post for once, I think.”
I blinked as another wave of guilt washed over me. The three of us waved goodbye to Jennifer and Lily before the guilt took over me, and I turned to Mary.
It was easier to start with Mary.
“I’ve been snogging Sirius for over a month now,” I blurted out, gripping the ends of the table tightly.
Mary nearly choked on her saliva at my outburst. Blinking furiously, she asked, “What? Does Jennifer know?”
For a moment, an incredible annoyance passed over me. Why was everyone’s first question whether Jennifer knew? It wasn’t like she owned him. Why was whether she knew more important than how I feeling?
“No. I have to tell her, and I was going to tell her today but I didn’t know it was Sirius’s birthday. I don’t know how nice of a person I would if I ruined his birthday for him,” I tried to explain.
Nervously, I started to twist a strand of my hair around my finger. I glanced over at Dorcas who just grimaced. Mary’s expression turned from shock to comprehension to confusion.
“But… why? Why haven’t you told us? Are the two of you a couple now?” she asked, confused.
“No… I mean, it’s why I started snogging him in secret in the first place. He didn’t want to start dating but I kept asking. It’s horrible of me to keep snogging him and not tell any of you, but I couldn’t really help myself,” I sighed despondently. Slumping in my seat, I let my eyes drift over to the counter where I could barely spot Sirius sitting with James.
The two of them looked like they were having the time of their lives with Madam Rosmerta, and I wondered if James knew of this secret arrangement we had been having.
“Well, why tell us now?” Mary asked. I snapped my eyes back to her in confusion. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad you told us, but why now, and not later?”
Dorcas spoke up. “That’s me. I suspected something was going on, and I asked Marls. She said that she would tell us if Sirius refused to go on another date with her today.”
Both Dorcas and I turned to stare at Mary, and suddenly, I knew that Dorcas felt as responsible as I did about keeping the other girls in the dark.
Everyone around us seemed to be jovial and enjoying Halloween, which was just around the corner, but the grim expressions at our table told me that the last thing we felt like doing was celebrating.
Mary sighed and shook her head, some of her dark hair falling into her face. Brushing them back impatiently, she said, “I don’t pretend to understand, Marls, but love makes a fool of us all, I suppose. At least that’s what my mum used to always tell me. Just… tell Jennifer. I think she’ll be hurt to know two of her best friends have been lying to her.”
I felt immediately guilty at her words. My earlier annoyance at Jennifer dissipated as I realized the truth in her words. It wasn’t that Jennifer owned Sirius. They were best friends; I should have been the bigger person and the better person to tell her, even if Sirius wouldn’t for his own stupid reasons. She was one of my best friends, and how did this lying make me any better than a Slytherin?
I had to tell Jennifer, and I had to tell her now.
Fourth Year: October 28th, 1973
As Told By Remus Lupin
I wasn’t a saint, and I wasn’t the best person to go to when it came to telling others not to break the rules that shouldn’t be broken.
Sirius was impulsive and didn’t like to be told what to do. He thought his actions were understandable to everyone around him when it was only ever completely clear to James.
“Well, we’ve done it,” Peter told James and Sirius excitedly as the two of us slid into seats next to them at The Three Broomsticks. “The house elves were extremely reluctant and very suspicious, but we did it!”
“Excellent,” James hissed. “Imagine the look on everyone’s face when their laundry gets back and their clothes are all the colours of other Houses.”
“Can you imagine the Slytherins having to walk around wearing Gryffindor colours?” Sirius snickered. “Best birthday present ever.”
“You know, normal people like to receive presents,” I told Sirius, despite the ends of my mouth perking up in a smile. “I don’t see how you can be satisfied seeing the entire school being pranked for a birthday present for all of us.”
“I’ve told you. I already got everything I need. Besides, Jennifer started speaking to me again so I don’t want anything else,” Sirius shrugged good naturedly. Taking a swig of his butterbeer, he swung his body around to look at the passing people. I could almost spot a smile on his face.
James clapped Sirius on the back and grinned. “You have a good heart, mate. If it were me, I’d demand presents from all of you.”
“Wouldn’t you want to get the entire House to get you presents?” Peter squeaked, adding his input. He looked uncertain for a moment.
Sirius let out a huge laugh and said, “Oh blimey, if James had his way then he’d get the entire bloody school to get him presents.”
“I’m not that spoiled, thank you very much,” James replied with a roll of his eyes. There wasn’t any longer standing joke between the four of us than how James had almost everything he wanted. “And just Evans would be good enough.”
I snorted, imagining Lily Evans getting James a present. “Yeah, she’d get you Bubotuber pus.”
“Do you think McKinnon will get you a present?” Peter asked Sirius. He sneaked a peak towards the far end of the Three Broomsticks where Dorcas Meadows and Mary Macdonald were sitting by themselves.
Just the two girls by themselves should have been an indicator that something might go wrong, as I looked back. The five girls spent all of their Hogsmeade together. Jennifer had been telling me just the other day how Dorcas had turned down a Hogsmeade date from Benjy Fenwick because she preferred to stay with the girls.
Sirius shrugged, glancing towards the table as well. “I didn’t tell her when my birthday was. If I did, things would get too serious.”
“Honestly mate, she asked you again about a Hogsmeade date. You need to decide soon. Can’t have everything,” James told Sirius in a serious tone. “You know how girls get.”
“Did you see Jennifer with Selwyn the other day? Apparently, Selwyn ‘wanted to talk’. The bloody bastard! Wanted to talk my arse,” Sirius said. He fingered his wand and glanced around the pub again as if he could find the opportunity to hex Selwyn.
I said, horrified, “Don’t tell me you’ve been spying on them again!”
“You haven’t been stealing my cloak, have you?” James asked suspiciously. “Normal usage is okay, but not when it comes to spying on Jen.”
“No, I haven’t been spying on her. And I haven’t been taking your cloak, Prongs. I wouldn’t do that. Marlene told me the other day that Jennifer complained about how he was bugging her,” Sirius reassured us. He threw his wand onto the table and sighed. “I think I need to tell Jen soon though. Marlene keeps asking about dates, and I don’t know if she’ll have the guts to tell Jen before I do.”
“Maybe you should have thought to tell me before Marlene decided to be the better person and tell me first.” The dangerously angry voice yet incredibly familiar voice from behind us made me wince.
I turned around to see Jennifer standing in front of Sirius, looking unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Out of the corner of my eyes, I could see that Marlene McKinnon and Lily Evans had joined the table where Dorcas and Mary had been sitting at.
The way Jennifer was staring at Sirius, however, was incredibly familiar. I bore that same look when Sirius had disappointed me with the incident with Snape. It was the look that one of the people you cared most about had disappointed you to a point that you were unsure whether you can ever recover.
Sirius was in shock as he stared back at Jennifer. Several emotions flashed through his face before it settled on extreme guilt.
“Do you know what hurts more than seeing Mary being attacked by Mulciber? This does. This hurts more than arguing with Lily after she decides to stick up for Snivellus. You lied to me, Sirius. You bloody lied to me. I thought I was being paranoid about you and Marlene getting closer and closer. I thought that I was being unreasonable. But turns out that you were the one with the secret all along! What am I, someone that you can just use and toss away as you please?!” Jennifer cried loudly, garnering the nearby attention.
I was slightly startled to see the tears forming in her eyes as she gave Sirius another hurtful glare before she turned on her heels and began storming out of The Three Broomsticks.
“Wait! Jen!” Sirius called desperately, getting up in a flash and chasing after her. I caught a glimpse of his wild expression before he left his seat, and my heart sank.
Sirius had always been an idiot when it came to Jennifer. He was so quick in insisting that he didn’t fancy her when it was completely obvious to James and I that he did.
Not that it helped when Marlene McKinnon showed up after the summer looking incredibly fit. Sirius had been convinced that snogging McKinnon will get rid of any unholy thoughts he supposedly had for Jennifer.
How his logic worked, I wasn’t sure, but Sirius always got the girls. That was obvious enough.
I exchanged meaningful looks with James and nodded. Quickly paying Madame Rosmerta, the three of us quickly rushed outside, where it was Jennifer was yelling at Sirius like I wasn’t sure he had ever been yelled at. As James, Peter, and I rushed outside, I could see the girls were following close behind.
Jennifer was hitting Sirius on the arm in an attempt to release her anger. I looked on awkwardly and caught Dorcas Meadow’s eyes. She grimaced, and I didn’t feel any better.
“Jen- stop it. Jennifer,” Lily Evans said firmly as she stepped forward and pulled Jennifer off of Sirius. “You’re catching the attention of every single bloody person at Hogsmeade. Black is an arse. We already know that. I didn’t let you go talk to him just so you can physically abuse him.”
Guilt warped my entire being as I saw the tear-stricken expression that Jennifer had when Lily pulled her off my best mate. Jennifer had always been dramatic, but this was betrayal. And it was the worst kind of betrayal: betrayal by friends.
I wasn’t at all surprised that Jennifer was turning to Lily; her dislike for James and Sirius probably made it easier for Jennifer to cope. I wanted to step in and apologize, but Sirius beat me to it.
“Jen… I’m sorry,” Sirius said quietly. “I was going to tell you. It wasn’t like we did it on purpose. I just needed to clear my thoughts.”
Jennifer let out a snort of derision and attempted to surge forward but Lily held her back. “Right. Of course. That’s what the both of you obviously were thinking. That just a bit of snogging would clear your thoughts. How silly of me. Godric! I look like a fool. The day has actually come that I can trust what Selwyn tells me more than I can trust you.”
“What! What does Selwyn have to do with this?” James wrinkled his nose in disgust.
“DON’T TALK TO ME, JAMES POTTER! YOU ARE JUST AS BAD!” Jennifer screeched. I winced at her tone, and silently wondered whether she was being over dramatic just a little bit. Had she gotten this angry at McKinnon too?
Jennifer angrily wiped her tears away and spat out, “You bloody knew and didn’t do anything. That makes you worse! I hate you all. Lily, let’s go.”
Without another word, Jennifer grabbed Lily’s hand and pulled her away from us and up towards Hogwarts. Her retreating figure started to shake up and down, just slightly but just enough to make the look on Sirius’s and James’s face heart-breaking.
The two blokes who had made it their duty to make sure Jennifer Potter would never be sad were now the reasons why she was crying.
If any girl could ever fancy me for who I truly am, then I would never break her heart. But then again, promises are easier made than fulfilled.
The seven of us stood there, awkward and silent, unsure of what to do next.
Fourth Year: November 27h, 1973
Gryffindor Common Room
As Told By Jennifer Potter
“Can I sit here?”
I glanced up and saw Remus Lupin standing in front of me, holding his textbooks awkwardly. Instead of answering, I merely nodded.
I hadn’t been in the mood to really talk to anyone for ages. As much as Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle William encouraged me to forgive Sirius and Marlene and put the entire incident past me, I couldn’t look at either of them without feeling a pain in my heart at being betrayed.
It was even worse when I saw Sirius. I wasn’t that good of a person to be able to let things go because I couldn’t move past the images I had in my head of Marlene and Sirius, snogging.
“Thank you,” Remus said as he sat down in an arm chair next to me.
There were several beats of silence before Remus started talking again, as I had a feeling that he would. “Jennifer, you don’t have to say anything, but I want you to just listen to me.”
I didn’t answer. It was unfair of me to ignore Remus. In fact, the person out of the four boys that I had spoken to the most was Peter.
Unsurprisingly, Peter was good company when he needed to be. All that he needed was encouragement and good companionship. Peter just needed guidance in the right direction. I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s more genuinely sincere than Peter.
To indicate that I was willing to listen, however, I sighed and set down my Charms textbook and turned to look at Remus, who had a serious expression on his face.
“I don’t expect you to forgive James and Sirius right away, but I just wanted to offer my input. First, I am sorry that I, also, kept this secret from you. I should have said something but I didn’t. I am very sorry,” Remus said, pausing as he gauged my reaction.
I nodded, and Remus went on. “Sirius wasn’t lying when he needed to clear his thoughts. He’s been having a lot of mixed feelings lately, and McKinnon being so available and doing what he asks her to do was just so convenient to him. James has told him that he needed to make a decision. Marlene kept asking about going on a date.
“James is still a bloke. He doesn’t think with his head all the time. I don’t think either of them meant to hurt you. Quite frankly, I don’t think any of them thought it was a big deal that you didn’t know until it became quite obvious that it did matter. I can’t say what they were thinking, but what I was thinking was that it was a bit of an overreaction.
“Jen, neither Sirius nor Marlene had a right to not tell you because you were their friend. But sooner or later, Sirius is going to start dating and I know that it wasn’t just the two of them keeping a secret that you had a problem with. You and Marlene have your own problems that I won’t comment on, but Lily has been talking to me. She told me that you felt uncomfortable with Sirius or James dating. None of this is your fault, but they will begin dating sooner or later, and they can’t feel obligated to consult you with every single thing that they do in their life. You weren’t wrong here, but I think you can give at least Sirius some leeway. You think of him as a second brother as you do James. Brothers can’t be bothered to tell their sisters everything they plan to do.”
There was nothing that I wanted to do more than to tell Remus that the last thing I thought of Sirius was as a brother, but that obviously wouldn’t do.
However, I was almost glad that Remus decided to talk to me to stand up for his friends. Lily has been an absolute angel, but she sure as hell wouldn’t be the one trying to reason out Sirius and James’s logic. It was already worse enough that Marlene and I weren’t speaking because I couldn’t talk to her without feeling betrayed.
It was unbearable to ignore James and Sirius, and I had seen no good reason to forgive them before now. What Remus had said was true. I shouldn’t have to be consulted with everything they do. The person I should be mad at is Marlene.
Even so, I could feel myself almost forgiving Marls every single time I see her.
“Thanks Remus,” I told him quietly. “You’re a really good friend. I don’t know anyone else who would stand up for their two friends after they made a girl cry. Most of the times, blokes would run the other way at feelings and trying to fix them.”
Remus smiled and let out a small laugh. “Well, I’m not most blokes. In fact, I’m quite the opposite from James and Sirius in many ways.”
“Yes you are. Any girl should be so grateful to have you,” I told Remus with a smile. It was true; Remus, with his tall height, his kind and welcoming face, his bookish ways, and his ability to connect to girls in a way that no other bloke can. Remus was like that cute guy that a girl would end up with and not know how she didn’t notice him before.
Sometimes, I wondered how much easier it would have been for my heart if I could have developed feelings for Remus instead of Sirius. At least Remus would know how to communicate with me whereas Sirius liked to avoid problems until they stared at him in the face.
“I’m going to go to the kitchens. Do you want me to grab you any food?” I asked Remus, deciding I needed time alone to think through everything. Remus’s loyalty as a friend made me doubt whether I had been dishonourable in not forgiving Marlene.
“I’m okay, but thank you for offering,” Remus smiled. “I can watch over your Charms book for you, if you want to leave it here. I have some studying to do myself.”
After bidding goodbye and leaving my textbook with Remus, I left through the Portrait Hole and slowly descended seven flights of stairs. I had almost reached the kitchens when I heard sniffling from down another corridor.
I paused in my steps, wondering if I was going to interrupt someone’s alone time. The sniffling continued, and I made up my mind on intervention.
I rounded the corner and saw a brown-haired girl, most likely a First Year, crouched on the ground, trying her hardest not to cry. She looked up, saw me, and bent her head down again.
“Hey sweetie, what’s wrong?” I gently asked, bending down and sitting next to her. The ground and the wall was cold. “Do you need to go to the Hospital Wing?”
I extended my arm to wrap around the little girl. She said nothing but curled up in my arms. It was almost odd, to be comforting someone younger than me. I was distinctly reminded of Alice and Emmeline. I made a mental note to myself to ask her how her last Hogsmeade date with Frank went.
“Do you want to tell me what’s wrong?” I asked again, gently lifting her off of me so I could look at her. “What’s your name?”
Sniffling, she said, “I’m Violet.”
“Violet. What a pretty name,” I smiled. “What house are you in?”
“I love Hufflepuffs! I’m Jennifer. I’m from Gryffindor,” I introduced myself.
Violet almost smiled. She wiped away some remaining tears from her eyes and said, “I know who you are. My sister talked about you before.”
I raised my eyebrows. I had been talked about. “Whose your sister?”
“Hazel. She’s a Fourth Year like you, but she’s in Ravenclaw,” Violet said, her eyes looking at me rather warily.
Hazel Abrams. How could this sweet little girl be related to Hazel Abrams? It seemed impossible, yet true as I gazed at Violet. I could see the same blue eyes and dirty blonde hair.
“I never knew she had a little sister,” I murmured after a moment’s pause. It seemed like a silly answer; why would I know anything about Hazel Abrams other than that she’s a twat?
Violet sighed despondently. In a soft voice, she said, “Hazel doesn’t care much for me. She let the older boys make fun of me when I couldn’t answer the question.”
“What question were you asking?” I asked. So many different parts of her sentence confused me.
“I tried to get into the Ravenclaw Common Room to see Hazel, but to get into the Ravenclaw Common Room, you have to answer a question. I couldn’t answer it and some older Ravenclaw boys were laughing at me. Hazel didn’t even care,” Violet was dangerously close to tears again. I tried to stop the tears that were gathering in her eyes by holding her tightly against me, but I wasn’t sure how much of a comfort I was.
“Do you know which boys they are?” I asked gently, tucking a strand of loose hair behind Violet’s ear. “I’ll go kick their butts for you.”
Violet shook her head. “I don’t know their names, but they sounded as bad as the Slytherins that my housemates always talk about. Our prefect always says how rude the Slytherins are.”
I snorted. In an openly derisive tone, I said, “Well, rude doesn’t quite describe it all, does it?”
“Glad to know how you think of us,” a mocking voice from behind me. Whirling around, I narrowed my eyes at the unpleasant sight.
If there was anything more horrible than seeing an eleven year old girl cry because her older sister doesn’t care for her, then it was to see the motley crew made up of Fourth Year Slytherins. Seeing all seven of them together when I was by myself was a nightmare.
Not at all feeling like I wanted to have a self-confidence contest with Eliana Rosier, Marcella Selwyn, or Chrysantha Yaxley, I turned around, grabbing Violet’s hand.
“Let’s go, Violet,” I told her. “I’ll take you to the kitchens for a snack. I was just heading there myself.”
“Not so fast, drama queen,” Marcella Selwyn’s slimy voice said. I ignored the smirks on the boys’ face and glared at her. “I heard all about your hissy fit after what happened with Black and McKinnon.”
Despite my best efforts, I flinched. It was one thing with it in the privacy of the Gryffindor Common Room because as gossipy at the Gryffindors can be, they were far better than the rest of the school. I tossed my long hair back behind my back and insisted, “I didn’t throw a hissy fit. And it’s none of your bloody business. Let’s go Violet.”
“And who’s this!” Avery exclaimed in a voice of fake delight as he turned his eye towards Violet. I didn’t miss the way that Violet flinched and practically hid behind me. “I don’t recognize you, so you’ve ought to be a Mudblood.”
“DON’T CALL HER THAT!” I screeched, standing in front of Violet to shield her. Though I was only three years older, I felt a distinct sense of duty to watch stand up for her. “Go wash your mouth and come back to civilization when you can act like a decent human being.”
Chrysantha Yaxley laughed, cruelly. “Someone’s touchy tonight. Is it because of Black? You were in love with him, after all, weren’t you?”
I sucked in my breath, hardly daring to breath. Untrue as it was, hearing the words come out of Yaxley’s dirty mouth made it all the more horrible. Yaxley, Selwyn, and Rosier had horrible smirks on their faces, but I was completely speechless.
“Such fun this is,” Snape drawled slowly. Glancing at his mates, all of whom were laughing loudly, he said, “to see a lion crawl back into its den with its tail between its legs. We should do this more often, Potter.”
I wanted to be better than their cruel laughter and their harsh jokes. With Violet staring at me, wide-eyed and most likely in near terror, I wanted to do something that would show that I didn’t need to sink down to their level. I wanted to be an example that it was better to just ignore it all.
“Come on, Violet,” I murmured quietly and quickly. I grabbed her hand and rushed away before I could change my mind about hexing all of them.
Fourth Year: December 5th, 1973
Gryffindor Tower: 4th Year Girls Dormitory #4
As Told By Marlene McKinnon
"Jennifer,” I said, standing up from my bed as soon as she walked in. “I’m really sorry. Please, just hear me out again.”
“No, you hear me out, Marlene,” Jennifer said firmly, walking towards me slowly. Her shoulders were rigid, and I could spot the bottom of her lips trembling. She was holding back so many emotions that I just wanted to throw myself on her and give her the biggest hug I could. “It really hurt, finding out the way I did. I’m glad you told me yourself, but I wish you could have been more honest with me before.
“You promised me that you wouldn’t go after Sirius. And you know what, if you wanted to, you should have just told me, and I would have put in a lot of good words for you. What’s worse than not knowing is knowing that this has been going on for so long, and you didn’t bother to tell me. Instead, you were lying to me the entire time.
“I know you’re sorry. I want to forgive and move on, but I’m not going to lie. It hurt. We’re supposed to be best friends. Best friends shouldn’t have secrets. Especially not secrets about boys, or who we fancy, or who we want to bloody snog,” Jennifer finished. She was breathing heavily, and the bottom of her hair was twisted into a ball of mess as she always twisted her hair whenever she was emotional or feeling awkward.
I felt my heart breaking all over again as it had when I first told her. The look of heartbreak that I saw on Jennifer’s face confirmed something that I didn’t want to see for the longest time, and it made me feel more ashamed than I could ever feel. Jennifer wasn’t going to forgive me.
Why had I done it anyways?
Yes, Sirius was bloody fit and funny and extremely intelligent. But he was also the biggest prankster that I knew, and he was like a loose cannon that I knew I couldn’t control. From the start, Sirius and I both knew, consciously or not, that it wasn’t going to work.
Yet I went ahead, betrayed my best friend’s trust, and did what I wanted. How was I a Gryffindor? I saw no chivalry, no courage, no bravery in what I had done.
I couldn’t understand why I craved the small attention that Sirius paid me. I couldn’t understand why I craved the possibility of being seen with him, walking around Hogsmeade. There was nothing in it for me other than this burning desire to date Sirius, but I hadn’t even known why I wanted to date him, only that I did.
How had I fallen so easily into the trap to be one of those girls who demanded attention? Was I really so weak with my self-esteem that I needed to date a good looking bloke to make me feel better? I wasn't and shouldn't be so weak.
“Marls,” Jennifer said softly. Looking up to stare at her with hopeful eyes, I saw Jennifer’s softened face and a small smile. “I forgive you. We’re best friends; friends are bound to argue once in a while. Bloody hell, Lily and I argue all the time. I know you’re sorry. That’s all that matters to me.”
I let out a sigh of relief that I hadn’t known I was holding. Rushing forward in one big step, I embraced my best friend as tightly as I could and said, “Thank Merlin. Oh Jen, I’m so sorry. I bloody love you, and no bloke should ever come between us ever again.”
"No man is worth the bloody trouble anyways," Jennifer grumbled. Unable to resist myself, I started laughing, uncontrollably. When the both of us were collapsed on our beds, laughing with each other, everything felt normal again.
Author's Note: Sorry for this super late update. There have been too many side projects and other novels that needed to be updated and finished.
Thank you all for sticking around and reading! What did you think of this chapter? Marlene and Sirius? Marlene's thoughts at the end? Remus's POV? (There will be more Remus and Peter in the next chapter!)
Please leave a review! You all are so amazing!
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