Adrianna bid her sister a brief adieu before making her way
on to the Hogwarts Express; today Adie had no time for social pleasantries –
she would not waste her time with those
people. She all knew what they’d be talking about, especially when she arrived,
and Adrianna still wasn’t confident enough to give a blasé
response to any barbed comments just yet. Her fellow Slytherins would
absolutely die of glee if they found out that Adrianna hadn’t even been told
about Sirius’ running away.
On the bright side though, Adie thought, Lucius has left school now, and mad, bad Bellatrix. That would certainly make Adrianna’s life easier.
So instead of facing a humiliating interrogation on Sirius and his summer adventure, Adie set off to find Em and Lily for a less judgemental and embarrassing discussion of events.
They had bagged a carriage all for themselves, lording their Sixth Year authority over the poor junior years. Adie joined them, bestowing hugs upon her friends gratuitously.
And they did not disappoint her on the gossip-front; she had barely sat herself down when Em launched straight into the topic.
“Why, what, how, details now.”
“Surely you’re not so desperate for gossip that you couldn’t have spent five more seconds on that sentence, making it coherent?” Lily laughed, enjoying the luxury and power of knowledge.
Adie shifted impatiently, joining Em in her eagerly leant forward pose. “Come on, Lily, quit holding out on us!”
The redhead giggled to herself before receiving two sharp blows to her person. Her smug smile turned into an indignant frown as she looked at her attackers-cum-friends.
“Carry on like that I shan’t tell you anything!”
“Aw, please,” Adie snuggled up to Lily, mock-pleading with her. “We’re sorry for hitting you; can you tell us the juicy gossip now?”
Lily shifted to face her best friends, ready to tell the story with its due theatricality.
“Oh, before you begin, I meant to ask you: what exactly was it that you had to do to James to get this information?” Em winked lasciviously and Adie burst into giggles again as Lily’s unamused frown slid back into place.
“That’s not appropriate or funny, guys!” Lily’s severe tone just made the other two laugh even harder. “And anyway, after James sent me a note telling me what went on I wrote to Sirius directly and he told me everything.”
“Nice and direct and completely tactless?”
“Whatever, Em, I got you your gossip, didn’t I?”
Em grinned and waited for her story.
“Although, I was kind of underwhelmed,” Lily sighed. “I say I got all the details but to be honest, Sirius didn’t say an awful lot. James says that even he doesn’t even know what really went on.”
This news cheered Adie up somewhat; at least she wouldn’t be the only one completely in the dark. But then again, everyone else had been sent a note about what had happened. Adrianna was pretty annoyed that Sirius hadn’t let her know about everything but she was positively enraged about James’ silence.
“Basically, he just turned up on James’ doorstep at midnight with a huge bag. He was all apologetic and swore he’d only stay for a night but James realised that he didn’t really have anywhere else to go. So, James’ parents said it was alright for Sirius to move in with them, if his parents really weren’t going to have him back.”
Em wrinkled her nose. “So, why did he leave? I didn’t think things were that bad for him – not as bad as things are for Adie at any rate? Was there some sort of trigger?”
Lily shrugged once more. “Like I said, no details. Not on that front anyway. However, I do know that he has been completely disowned by his family – his mother blasted his name off of their family tree. The Slytherins are probably going to give him hell at school; he can’t have seen any of them since he left.”
“Lucky bugger,” Adie commented, absentmindedly reaching to inspect the new bracelet on Emmeline’s wrist. “And anyway, it won’t be that bad – Lucius and Bellatrix have gone now. They’ve lost their leader.”
“We’ll just have to see, won’t we?”
The whole school (or at least, the whole year) it seemed was talking about Sirius’ escape from the House of Black. Yet no one knew anything more than Lily – unheard of, for the infallible Hogwarts’ gossip mill.
Although James and Remus sent huge grins and waves in Adie’s direction, she decided it was best not to attempt to broach the subject just yet; she would bide her time until they had a lesson together. She was fairly confident she would get some details out one of the boys; unless, that is, James had actually been telling the truth when he claimed not to know any details of Sirius’ familial problems.
And in any case, Adrianna’s attention was entirely consumed for the moment with trying to listen into the Slytherins’ views on the matter.
“It was bound to happen sooner or later; we all knew he was pretty much gone. I don’t think there was anything we could have done to drag him back. He was never really in our control.” Narcissa delivered her blunt and detached analysis first. Her casual talk of “controlling” people made Adie shiver; is that what they tried to do to her? She hated how cold Narcissa sounded.
Avery shrugged. “He’s a Blood Traitor of the highest order - something should be done about it.”
Regulus, who had previously been sitting silent further down the table, suddenly spoke up. “He’s already been disowned and had to leave his family. I think that’s probably enough.”
Nott and Avery stared at Regulus incredulously and Adie sighed internally. She agreed with Reg, of course, but he was a fool to speak his feelings aloud.
“Had to leave his family? He’s the one who made the decision to leave! And now he has to face the consequences.” Nott’s voice as he spoke of consequences was indifferent and harsh. Adrianna shivered again.
Reg looked away again. His voice was small and his words just a mutter. Only Adie heard what he said. “It must have been hard for him though, no matter how much he hates us.”
Those words stuck with Adie throughout the rest of the day. By Transfiguration the next day, all of her anger towards James and Sirius had completely dissolved. It must have been so hard for Sirius to leave his family – Adie knew, deep down, that she’d never be able to do what he’d done.
And so it was with love and forgiveness in heart that Adrianna went into the Transfiguration classroom that morning. By the time she exited the classroom, her heart was filled with something more akin to annoyance and frustration.
Not once during that lesson, had Sirius deigned to throw Adie even the smallest of glances or smiles or any form of interaction whatsoever. That said, he had caught her eye once and immediately returned Adrianna’s smile with a surly scowl. She was completely and utterly bemused.
“Hey, Sirius,” She wasn’t going to give up. Adie called out to him as the class ended and the students began to flood out of the room. Remus and the others didn’t bother to wait, flashing Adie smiles and offering promises of holiday catch-ups at break.
Sirius, on the other hand, retained his moody look as he turned to Adrianna’s call.
Adie was stung slightly by this abrupt greeting but pressed on regardless. “Hey, you know what I’m talking about. You did it, you left it all behind. I can’t believe it.”
Her words were met with silence. The dark haired boy had not stopped for the conversation and his female companion had to stride quickly down the corridors to match his pace.
“It must have been really hard. I don’t think I could have done it.” Adie tried instead to offer some tentative words of comfort; maybe the whole ordeal of having to leave his family was getting to him more than he was letting on?
Her words certainly had an effect, although not the one she was expecting or desiring.
“No, you most certainly wouldn’t have done it.” Sirius’ tone was harsh and icy. He stopped walking abruptly, turning to observe Adie disdainfully.
She blinked in surprise. “I just meant that despite everything, they’re your family and it must have been very hard to just cut them out of your life like that.”
“That’s exactly your problem, Greengrass,” Adie’s stomach sunk as he spat out her surname. How had they managed to get back to square one again so quickly? “At the end of the day, family’s always going to win for you.”
“Win over what?” Adrianna exclaimed, riled by Sirius’ unforgiving tone. “I don’t understand this battle or contest you seem to have created in your head for me: my family versus what, exactly?”
Sirius sighed heavily. He had not raised his voice once; he only seemed resigned and frustrated.
“The battle, which if you’re not facing now you will face at some point, of your family and their wishes and pride versus what is right. What you really want and who you really are.
“I’ve seen now, for myself, that you are a good person and you don’t want to do the things your family and peers do. But you’ll end up doing them anyway, because you’ll do anything to please them and gain their approval.”
Adie shook her head and tried to voice some disagreement but she was struck by the truth of his analysis.
“I realised, as I left, that you would never be able to do it. Yeah, it killed me. And you, you aren’t willing to disobey your family. It’s a damn shame.”
Adrianna wanted so badly to deny his words but she just couldn’t.
Instead she heard herself quaveringly ask, “But we’re still friends, right?”
Sirius just gave her a sad look and walked away.
“We’re not the same, Adie, at all.”