Disclaimer-I only own the McKinnon siblings (Malcolm, Milo, Marcas, Merric, and Max), together with An-Jelly-Ca.

Better than Revenge

Really, if anyone was to be blamed, it was all Milo's fault.

Milo and his ruggedly handsome, Quidditch player good looks. And his oh-so-charming personality which—for the record—Marlene, as his younger sister, considered to be only a much-talked-about rumor as she hadn't ever seen it firsthand. And did he really have to be so friendly and inviting? Marlene firmly believed that if Milo wasn't such a nice person all of this could have been avoided.

But Milo was all of those things. And, as a result, Marlene was never going to forgive her brother for being the reason a certain someone had been around to steal her best friend away from her.

Now go stand in the corner and think about what you did

It was the summer of 1977. August to be precise, with less than a month left before Marlene was due to begin her seventh and final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Milo was the captain of the Irish International Quidditch team. The final match of the Quidditch World Cup wouldn't be played until the following August, but team practices had already started, with the first round of the Cup beginning in October.

Back in June, shortly after the school year had ended, Sirius, Marlene's best friend in the entire world, had run away from home. Personally, Marlene believed that he was better off for it. Not only was he finally escaping from his insane family, but he was also enabling himself to spend more time with people who actually cared about him. Namely, Marlene…plus their other friend James…and his parents…and Marlene's entire family pretty much, but that wasn't the point. The point was that Sirius was finally free, and he couldn't have been happier about it.

Sirius' happiness was infectious. Whenever he and James dropped by, usually to play Quidditch on the full-size pitch handily located on the McKinnon estate, Marlene couldn't help but be happy as well. It was quite possibly the best summer of her life; playing Quidditch and spending time with her friends (and, she might one day begrudgingly admit that spending some time with her younger brothers was rather nice, too).

Nothing could possibly bring her down.

And then Milo had stopped by for a visit. Sweet, wonderful, handsome, Quidditch star Milo, who of course just had to bring her with, because she just had to meet the wonderful family Milo couldn't stop going on about. In Marlene's opinion, thinking about it now, bringing Joscelind home with him was quite possibly the worst thing Milo had ever done in his entire life.

It was so painfully obvious to Marlene what Joscelind was really doing in her home that August afternoon. And it had made Marlene more than a tad smug to know that Joscelind's plan was going to fail utterly. Milo didn't date teammates, or do anything else with them that Joscelind most likely had in mind.

But then they had gone out into the backyard, following Marlene, of all people, who had gone in to get the water pitcher refilled and thus been the first to greet Milo and Joscelind.

James, Marlene, and her youngest brother, Max, had been in an epic Quidditch battle against Sirius and Marlene's other two younger brothers, Marcas and Merric. They had decided to take a break and were all still lounging around on the ground next to their brooms when Marlene, who had drawn the short straw, came back with the water. Marcas, Merric, and Max had all jumped to their feet upon spotting Milo and had promptly tackled him to the ground by way of greeting one of their often-absent older brothers.

James and Sirius had also made to greet him, as they were quite familiar with the entire McKinnon family, as evidenced by their ease with spending pretty much all of their free time at the McKinnon estate. James had somehow been pulled into the mass of limbs struggling on the ground and Sirius had been about to dive headfirst into the fray, when he had spotted the blonde girl who had come to a halt a few steps behind Milo.

Marlene had long known that Sirius had a weakness for girls. It was no secret that he had dated at least half of the female population at Hogwarts. And, no matter what anyone said, Marlene didn't really have a problem with it. Yes, at times it tried her patience how callous Sirius seemed to be when it came to dating and then breaking up with his plethora of girlfriends. But no matter what anyone coughcough might say or think, Marlene did not harbor a deep and everlasting love for her best friend. That would be the most ridiculous thing in the entire world. It was beyond absurd. It simply just wasn't true.

And then Sirius caught Joscelind's eye.

"Hey," He had said confidently, his lips pulling into a cocky grin.

"Hi," She had replied with a coy smile of her own.

And it was in that moment that Marlene knew Joscelind's original plan didn't need to fail; the blonde had abandoned it the moment she saw Marlene's best friend.

The story begins when it was hot and it was summer and

I had it all, I had him right there where I wanted him

She came along, got him alone, and let's hear the applause

She took him faster than you could say sabotage

Just watching the two of them smile at each other like that caused Marlene's world to crash around her.

And then suddenly they weren't looking at each other anymore, and James and her brothers were no longer wrestling with each other on the ground. Rather, everyone was looking right at her; at Marlene. That was when Marlene realized she had dropped the glass pitcher and it had shattered upon crashing to the hard ground.

"You alright, 'Lene?" Milo asked with some concern when no one else spoke up after a moment.

"I…" Marlene looked from the crowd of people in front of her to her hands to the ground and then back to the assembled group again. It registered vaguely in the back of her mind that her hands were shaking. "I have to go."

And without another word, Marlene rushed past her brothers, friends, and Joscelind into the house. Everyone, save for Joscelind, shot the girl concerned looks, but Marlene didn't see them through her blurred vision. By the time she got to her room she realized that she had tears running down her cheeks.

Marlene couldn't understand what was happening. Obviously, with just one look, Sirius already fancied Joscelind, which was nothing new. He was quite possibly the most flirtatious person in the world, which Marlene had known for ages. So she couldn't understand why she had reacted this way. There had been plenty of times before when she had had to suffer through Sirius hitting on other girls while she was right there. They had never caused her to burst into tears. In fact, it wasn't very often that Marlene ever cried…she couldn't even remember the last time it had happened…

Clearly there was just something about Joscelind, but Marlene couldn't figure it out as she sank to the floor and leaned back against her closed bedroom door, effectively blocking anyone from opening it.

What had just happened out there? Marlene couldn't honestly say that she had an answer…but there must have been a reason she had taken Sirius' latest flavor of the week so hard.

Dorcas, Marlene's second best friend in the entire world, thought that Marlene was crazy for putting up with Sirius' womanizing ways, but Marlene always shrugged the concern off. If nothing else, it amused her to watch other girls falling under Sirius' charm, because they were crazy if they thought any of it would last. Sirius had a new girlfriend every other week, practically, and Marlene couldn't see that ever changing.

So why did Marlene feel as if her world was ending because Sirius had smiled at Joscelind?

What if…what if everyone had been right?

Marlene had known Sirius since they were both six years old; longer than he had known he even James. They had been best friends by the time they started at Hogwarts together when they were eleven, and they had remained best friends for the next six years. Marlene and Sirius were pretty much inseparable, and Merlin help the person who got in between the pair of them and their caffeine.

Marlene couldn't really imagine a life without Sirius as her best friend; he was always there for her. But now that she was taking the time to think about it (thanks to Joscelind and her intrusion), Marlene realized that maybe everyone might have been right, way back in third year, when they had first said that she and Sirius were destined for each other.

And as this realization came about, an even greater realization hit Marlene: these feelings…the idea that she liked Sirius as more than just her best friend…they had been creeping up on her for some time now. But without Joscelind, she never would have seen it.

No, if it wasn't for Joscelind—whom Marlene was more than sure Sirius was already chatting up at this very moment never mind the obvious distress his supposed best friend in the entire world was clearly in—Marlene was sure that it would have taken her ages longer to realize that she had long ago fallen for Sirius.

As Marlene sat there on the floor, with her back pressed against her closed bedroom door, the tears continued to slide down her face. Why? Why did she have to realize that she was in love with her best friend now? Now, of all times, with that wretched, pathetic excuse for a Quidditch player here to steal him away from Marlene before…well, before she could even tell him of this revelation about her changed feelings for him.

Marlene and Sirius might not have been romantically involved in any sense of the word before this. And Marlene might not have realized until quite recently that she was in love with her best friend. And Sirius might not know what the effect of that one glance and that brief exchange of words had had on his friendship with Marlene. And Sirius might not know that his best friend in the entire world was in love with him. But there were two things that Marlene was entirely sure of.

Marlene was without a doubt one hundred percent in love with her best friend.

And she was going to do whatever it took to get him away from Joscelind and make sure that he knew just how Marlene really felt about him.

I never saw it coming, wouldn't have suspected it

I underestimated just who I was dealing with

She had to know the pain was beating on me like a drum

She underestimated just who she was stealing from