²⁸, A MAY CONVERSATION

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𝐂𝐇𝐎𝐂𝐎𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐄
chapter twenty-eight; A May Conversation
Because James only knows extremes. "

  IT WAS MAY when Madeline finally had enough

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  IT WAS MAY when Madeline finally had enough. She hadn't stopped thinking about Sirius Black and Marlene McKinnon, had he recycled the words he'd said to Madeline over the summer? Did Marlene at least feel lucky, to be cared for by Sirius Black— was it a hook up or something more?

  Why did it hurt so much?

  And on an otherwise insignificant day, after Slytherin's final quidditch match but before Gryffindor's, Madeline snapped. She was in the midst of returning a book to the library, by herself and silently, as she'd done most things, and she saw Marlene and Lily giggling over textbooks.

  The brunette acted on impulse, marching directly over to the table. Both girls looked up, only to see Madeline's confidence plummet instantly.

  "I think we should talk," Marlene said once realizing Madeline wasn't going to utter a single syllable.

  "Yeah," Madeline nodded, letting out a long, defeated breath, "I think so, too."

  Lily shifted to give Madeline room to sit, the brunette slipping into a chair beside the redhead.

  And then Marlene said it.

  "I didn't shag him."

  "I— I'm sorry?" Madeline questioned disbelievingly.

  "He told us, about it all," The blonde explained, gesturing to Lily, who smiled sadly. "James was bothering him about not seeing any girls, and I said he could lie about it. We just hung out, and talked about you— not in a bad way! He, sort of, cried."

  Madeline had a lump in her throat, the size of a bludger. She didn't know what to say, not to Marlene or Lily, at least. The girl stood and exited the library swiftly.

  "D'ya think that was a good abrupt exit or a bad one?" Marlene questioned, leaning her chin on her hand and staring at the doorway Madeline had disappeared out of.

  "Hopefully a good one."

ϟ

  Sirius was on his fifth cigarette of the day. This may have been a good thing if it was past noon. If it was after dinnertime, one could assume his habit had been curved, no longer smoking a pack a day.

  But it was just barely 11 AM.

  "Smoking will kill you, you know?"

  Madeline Potter was breathtaking. Had it been so easy to forget? Sirius was frozen as he took in the small things, pieces of hair spitting across her forehead, thick eyebrows knitted together just slightly to create a crease between them. Her pink lips were rolled together just barely like she was holding in a crowd of words. 

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