Adie was woken the next morning by Narcissa shaking her gently. Her eyes opened blearily and she could feel that they were puffy from all the tears she had shed. Adie was still fully-clothed, her robes a crumpled mess.
Narcissa didn’t say anything but appraised Adrianna’s dishevelled appearance with a critical eye before sweeping out of the dorm. Adie sighed to herself, the memories of last night still fresh in her mind. She set about getting ready with a heavy heart.
Once she had showered and changed, eager to rid herself of all traces of the dank tunnel, she set off for the Great Hall; Adie didn’t want to enter the room alone, scared of the reactions of the boys, and so she walked in with Sev.
They chatted harmlessly as they walked and if Severus noticed Adie’s distress, he tactfully did not mention it.
As they entered the room, Adie felt her heart begin to beat about ten times faster than usual. She studiously kept her eyes away from the Gryffindor table, practically sprinting towards Narcissa, Regulus and Rabastan. She heard Severus quicken his pace, trying to keep up with her.
She slumped quickly on to the bench beside Cissy deliberately keeping her back to the other tables. Adie saw the others looking at her strangely.
“I’m really hungry.” She commented with forced nonchalance, reaching for the toast. Rabastan sort of laughed derisively before getting up and leaving the group to their meal.
The instant Lestrange was out of earshot, Reg and Narcissa leant in towards Adie.
“Adrianna, why are my brother’s moron friends glaring absolute daggers in our direction?”
“And where were you last night?” Narcissa interjected. “Dear Lord, if you were in their Common Room, or anywhere else, you will be slayed.”
Adie huffed indignantly. “Cissy, I hope you’re not implying that there is now anything more than friendship between myself and the boys. And last night, I just went for a walk.”
Regulus raised one disbelieving eyebrow looking scarily like his older brother, Adie noted. “That doesn’t explain why Remus Lupin, apparently the nicest guy ever to have walked the face of the planet, is looking like he wants to murder you.”
Adie groaned to herself. Of course he was furious - he had every right to be. She knew she would have to face the angry Marauders sooner or later however at the moment she was hoping it would be later. Adie was feeling very cowardly right now.
She scarfed down the rest of her breakfast, ignoring Cissy and Reg’s joking inquiries about last night. Neither really cared what had occurred between Adie and her new friends, they were just enjoying languidly teasing her.
Adrianna got to Runes before anyone else and she thanked her lucky stars that none of the Marauders took this class.
The hour passed in a blur. Remus’s anguished, half-wolf face was stuck in Adie’s head. She really did despise herself for what she’d done and worst of all, Adrianna could see no way to make amends for her actions either.
She vaguely heard the teacher dismissing the class and reached for her bag mechanically, packing away her quills and parchment on autopilot. A Hufflepuff girl who was in Adie’s next class began walking beside her, making light conversation. The Slytherin’s mind was not really on the conversation, she was still racking her brains for a way to apologise to Remus. She made her way to Transfiguration in a dream.
Transfiguration. Adrianna could have screamed, interrupting the Hufflepuff’s story about Charms Club.
For Salazar’s Sake! She would be sitting next to James, a very angry boy who was in the right about the whole debacle, who had also happened to have saved her life last night.
Oh joy, Adie thought sourly.
She left her stomach somewhere in the corridor outside the classroom and her heart sunk when she saw the mess of black hair already at their desk. Adie slipped into the seat silently, leaning as far away from his as possible and keeping her hair as a shield between them. He did not acknowledge her.
Adrianna could not concentrate on a word McGonagall said throughout the lesson. All she could think about was the way James’s knuckles were white he was clutching his quill so hard. She didn’t hear a word about changing tortoises into teapots but instead noticed instead how Peter was sending her these looks of hurt, confusion and anger from his seat at the front of the class. She couldn’t even bring herself to check how Remus looked.
Finally the class was over and McGonagall dismissed the Fifth Years curtly; already, Adie’s stuff was packed and she was out of the door before James had time to blink. However as she practically sprinted out of the room, Adie was struck by a thought.
She really deserved all their anger and soulful looks. She deserved to lose them; if they no longer wanted to be her friend, she should accept it because they had every right to hurt her too.
So she paused outside the door and instead leant against the wall and waited for the boys. They walked out, dark scowls on their faces which flickered momentarily to shock at seeing Adie waiting for them. The grimaces, however, quickly returned.
Lily and Emmeline were just behind the boys and they made as if to stop for their friend but Adie shook her head and motioned them on.
“I’ll see you guys later, yeah?” she said, attempting a smile. The two girls exchanged a worried glance and Lily shot a warning glare at James. He didn’t appear to see it, still staring stonily and unimpressed at Adrianna.
Adie kept her eyes trained on Lily and Emmeline’s retreating backs until they disappeared from view. It was only then that she turned to face the four boys, taking a deep breath.
“I know that no apology can ever make up for what I’ve done and I’m ready to fully accept the consequences of my actions. However, I want you to know that I am truly sorry for following you last night; I know how deeply wrong it was. I can’t begin to imagine how you must feel, Remus.
“The only reason I came in the first place was to try to ‘get over’ my fear, to try to understand and digest this huge piece of news. I realise it was a damn stupid thing to do now but at the time I could think of no other way to do it.” Adie sighed as the boys’ expressions did not change.
James’s jaw was clenched tight, Peter still had that pained expression on his face and Remus’s face, worst of all, was just blank – it was as if he didn’t even recognise the girl in front of him. And, oh Merlin, Black can’t even bring himself to look at me, Adie thought looking at Sirius whose eyes were gazing out of the window instead.
“I just can’t believe it of you, Adrianna,” Remus began to speak monotonously. “I trusted you and you abused that trust. You saw me at my most vulnerable, it makes me thing that you don’t understand what it took for me to tell you my secret.
“Don’t you understand that I am consumed with self-loathing at who I am? I despise myself during those monthly transformations and then to see you there, so casually invading this personal nightmare of mine – uninvited, just trying to selfishly allay your own fears? It was awful. I just can’t believe it of you, especially.”
Adie swallowed thickly, willing herself no to cry. She bit her lip and bit back the words she felt she should say; she was afraid her voice would crack and set off the tears. Adrianna didn’t want them to think she was trying to gain her sympathy.
Before she had time to compose herself, James interjected angrily. “Moony’s right; you were fucking selfish, Adie, one thing I really didn’t think of you. All you cared about was calming your own nerves! You didn’t even stop to consider Remus’s feelings, the danger of the situation and how we would feel if you got hurt on our account. It was insensitive, untactful and just so self-centred. It makes me wonder if Sirius was right. After all, we don’t really know you or understand you at all, do we?”
Sirius’s head shot up at the mention of his name and he stared for a moment at James, confused.
Adie took the few moments of silence to say one last piece. “I know, James, trust me I do. I loathe myself for what I’ve done but I’d like to think that my fault here is not selfishness but a lethal combination of stupidity and impulsiveness. If I had taken the time to stop and think about what I was doing, I would never have followed through.
“I only undertook this idiotic journey in order to help be a better friend to you all. I did it so that I could fully support Remus, and help and understand. I realise now that what I’ve done hasn’t achieved this and, as I said, I’m ready to face the consequences of what I’ve done. I won’t try to carry this friendship on but thank you anyway; it was some of the best months of my life while it lasted.”
Once again, Adie had to blink rapidly to dispel her tears; this was it, they were finally going to abandon her and end their relationship. She’d never had a boyfriend to break-up with before but she imagined it couldn’t be worse than this.
James went to open his mouth and snap an angry retort but Sirius held up his hand suddenly. His eyes were fixed on Adie and they had been throughout the duration of her last speech.
He cleared his throat and began to speak tentatively. “James just said that he thought maybe I was ‘right about Adrianna’. I think he was referring to all the rather unpleasant things I have accused her of being in the past. But that is what it is, it’s in the past.”
Adie stared at Sirius incredulously. What was he doing? Wasn’t this what he had wanted all along – for Remus and James and Peter to want no more to do with her?
“Adie is a good friend of yours. Obviously, what she did was wrong and incredibly dense,” the boy rolled his eyes and some of the usual vitriol was back in his voice. “I guess what I’m trying to say is that her intentions were good. I don’t think you should be reacting so harshly. Adrianna had it harder than us, taking this news. I think her reaction was valid.”
There was a moment of absolute silence after Sirius had finished speaking while the other four just gazed at him disbelievingly.
“Thanks, Sirius….” Adie managed finally.
He shrugged. “No problem.”
Remus and James exchanged looks of confusion, both struggling for words.
“But… Sirius, I suppose the main reason we were so angry is because we thought you were right. It was a ‘Slytherin’ thing to do?” Remus’s voice was still thick with incomprehension.
Sirius looked away from the spider’s web that had caught his attention. “God, I thought you lot would have learnt not to listen to a fucking thing I say by now. And, like, you didn’t have Slytherin motives I don’t think, did you?”
He directed this last question towards Adrianna who started slightly at being directly addressed. “Well, no. Of course, I didn’t.”
Remus turned to look at his friend, a small half-smile on his face. Adie returned the smile tentatively; was this all going to work out fine? All because of Sirius defending her? The idea was shocking to Adriana.
“Well, I think you may have been right this time, Sirius.” James joked, hitting his best friend in between the shoulder blades.
Remus laughed. “Maybe we did overreact a little. Adie, I’m sorry. What you did was wrong but you know that I can see you’re truly sorry.”
Adie’s tentative smile grew into one of her huge grins as she enveloped her werewolf friend in a giant hug.
“I am sorry, Rems, so sorry!” Her voice came out rather muffled as James and Peter piled into the hug. Sirius stood watching them all, an almost melancholy smile on his face.
They all broke away from the hug, laughing and reunited again. Adie just couldn’t believe it was because of Sirius…