((A/N: Sorry this took so long, ...again. I write in sporadic random phases, and I'm going to do my best to stick in this one until I've atleast gotten a few more chapters on this thing. I love that even though I haven't updated in a million years, people are still reading and reviewing. The reviews are lovely. Thank you for them and for reading and not hating me and flaming because I am a terrible updater ;; Anyways, enjoy!))

Chapter 12

No week in my entire life had ever passed so quickly.

Things were quiet, uneventful, dissatisfying. And now everything I dreaded was finally here. Sirius was leaving tomorrow.

I couldn't keep my thoughts on anything else, and soon enough I was going to throw up on my Potions essay. Every second I sat trying to recall the name of some obscure herb was a second wasted. I had to wait it out, however. Sirius wasn't anywhere to be seen at the moment, and it was pointless to go looking for him. He knew of more potential hiding places in this school than anyone else did; if he wanted to be alone, he'd achieve that quite successfully.

I looked over at James. He seemed to be just as frustrated as I was though I couldn't exactly tell why. Perhaps he had finally allowed himself to reconsider Sirius as a friend. Perhaps he too knew that something was terribly wrong.

"What the hell do you make of it?" James asked, catching my glance.

I moved closer to him, glaring slightly at the volume of his voice. My response came deliberately in the form of a whisper, "I don't know. He really doesn't want to go, I know that much. I sort of… forced my way into his thoughts, I guess you could say."

James smirked. He knew exactly what I was referring to; I had given him some help with his own Occlumency work.

"Remus!" he exclaimed, with fake shock. "Really, tricking him like that! You ought to be ashamed"

"Stop it," I interrupted, sounding a bit more demanding than I had meant to. "You know I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for his own good. Anyway, I didn't see much, but what I did see was enough to worry over"

James' eyes stared at my own, wide, waiting, with a hint of boredom.

He didn't seem to be taking this incredibly seriously. Nevertheless, I moved even closer towards him incase anyone might be listening.

"Well… there was… the dark mark, you know… Voldemort's." The name felt pungent in my mouth and I hurried them out.

He didn't look surprised. "Did you see anything else"



"No, not much. But isn't that reason enough to be worried"

"Maybe. I don't know." His eyes shifted behind me and I turned to look around. Sirius had just come into the dormitory. I readjusted my position and tried to look as though we had not just been discussing his personal life. James got up and walked past him, presumably heading down to the common room. Sirius, seemingly oblivious to this, walked over to his own bed and drew his curtains shut.

With a heavy sigh I got up off of James' bed and made the quick journey to Sirius', theirs being next to each other. Something about all of this seemed so juvenile, despite the seriousness of the matter.

He didn't stir when I sat beside him. His body looked awkward, his long lanky limbs curled up into a compact form I didn't think possible. His back was towards me, and I stroked it in what I assumed was a comforting gesture, my fingertips grazing the subtle bumps of his spine through his shirt. We sat silently like that for some time, just like most of our encounters as of late. Talking wasn't necessary. There was so much I'd love to talk about, but it didn't matter right now. This could be the last time I'd see Sirius for god knows how long, I didn't want to ruin that. I'd do my own investigating later.

My own eyelids were growing heavy when I felt him shift and wrap his arms around me, resting his head upon my chest.

We slept like that until I woke the next morning alone, just catching the sound of the dormitory door slamming shut.

I hurried along the hall as quickly as I could. My trunk floated along behind me and for a moment I worried I might carelessly hit someone with it. Luckily there weren't many awake at this hour. If I had to leave, I'd do it before I had the chance to realize how badly I wanted to stay. I couldn't risk talking to Remus or James, or even Peter, despite his being a greasy git most of the time. Even he was preferable to the company I'd soon be keeping.

The entrance to Dumbledore's office had never been more ominous. I swallowed hard before reciting the password and making my way up the spiral staircase.

I suddenly felt so childish and alone. 'Why the hell hadn't I just told someone and gotten out of this?' Surely Dumbledore could have done something. Though there would invariably been consequences, and perhaps this was the easiest route after all. Either way, there was nothing I could do at this point. It was too late.

It was too late to go back and say goodbye to Remus. A lump formed in my throat. 'I'm an idiot'

"Good morning Sirius!"

Dumbledore's greeting was so optimistic I almost laughed. Instead some mutant half-laugh, half-choke hybrid rose from my throat and I coughed awkwardly, as though that would dismiss it. "Good morning."

My trunk settled on the floor beside me. The headmaster was preparing the fireplace for travelling, and I could see the small box of powder sitting upon his desk. Father would be arriving soon, he wouldn't allow me to do this on my own. It was too risky. I was too important to whatever it was he had planned. Dumbledore gave me an urgent look as though I was going to spill out some important information at the last minute, and I was sorry to disappoint him.

The familiar figure formed in the fire and stepped out, reaching for Dumbledore's hand. A disgustingly fake look of friendliness was plastered to his face. I hated him. I hated him for coming here and for thinking he was better than Dumbledore, and for taking me away from all of this.

Formalities were quickly exchanged and he turned his attention to me, "I suppose we should be on our way."

I felt rooted to the floor, like if he tried to move me the stone beneath me would come up too. I wished this were the case. My feet moved independently of my mind towards the fireplace, my trunk following along. I just wanted to get this over with. Without looking at Dumbledore or my father, I tossed a bit of the floo powder into the fire and quickly stepped in, trying my best to ignore the terrible feeling in my stomach.