⁴⁵, JAMES POTTER'S BIGGEST FEAR

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𝐀𝐍𝐎𝐁𝐑𝐀𝐈𝐍.
chapter forty-five; James Potters' Biggest Fear
"
You got any better at astronomy? "

chapter forty-five; James Potters' Biggest Fear" You got any better at astronomy? "

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  THE POST-HOLIDAY depression had been very real in Madeline Potter's seventh year. It was less because of the whole going back to school part of it, and more so because her holidays had felt incomplete.

  Christmas was wonderful but afterward, it was nothing but the same old same old. 

  No post-Christmas day happiness, the films ended when Lily left, songs came to a halt when Remus announced his departure, and Madeline could swear the champagne lost its bubbles when Peter said he had to go.

  New Years wasn't the same. Lily had come over, but aside from this is was strictly a Potter and Black family event. The air was tight with tension was the clocked ticked closer to midnight, three couples shoved into a room already crowded with awkwardness.

  Lily and James shared a gentle kiss at midnight, as did Euphemia and Fleamont, and Sirius only gave Madeline a sweet smile, the two clinking their champagne glasses together. They weren't ready to be a regular couple in front of them, it was strange and bizarre and their kisses felt like secret treasure, and exposing it to James was a risk of tainting this, and neither wanted that.

  They were okay with sharing a sofa cushion and laughing together, lingering looks and goodbye kisses no one else saw. Holding hands freely and mindless contact, it was all enough for them.

  But Madeline was feeling the full effects of missing her twin.

  It seemed twins had an extension of the sibling bond every other kid with a brother or sister shared. They'd been everywhere together until age 11, and even following this they'd only be split up in dinners and classes. But holidays were sacred, they were ignoring the year-long fights for the sake of traditions, and this was the first year nothing made a difference.

  James hadn't helped Madeline and Euphemia decorate the tree, he'd not asked Madeline for the piggy-back New Years' tradition, nor had he made any attempt to sit on the train back to Hogwarts with her.

  And with all these damn thoughts, Madeline felt the cold tendrils of insomnia hug her tightly, forcing her out of the bed that suddenly felt more like a prison. A strange part of her wanted to be caught, wandering around past curfew, which is why she had no trouble going to the only wide-open space on school grounds.

  It appeared someone had already had this idea.

  "The hell are the chances?" 

  James sat up quickly at the voice, only to relax in realizing it was Madeline. She was still in silky blue pajama bottoms, her usual tank top replaced with a large t-shirt James had seen splayed across his own dorm room more times than he could count. Something about her wearing Sirius' clothes made the nitty-gritty details more real in his mind and, briefly, he felt nauseated.

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