Title: What I Did For Love
Chapter Number/Title: One; Regret
Characters/Pairings: Marlene/Sirius, with past Marlene/Severus, unrequited Severus/Lily, and so much Sirius/Severus hate
Warnings: Angst, mentions and references to sexual acts and references, and non-graphic sex
When: MWPP Era
Summary: “Why do you care so much, Severus? Lily Evans is your one and only true love, remember? I was only around to keep your sheets warm.”
Disclaimer: If I was JK Rowling, I would be writing books, not fanfic.
Author's Note: This was inspired by the prompts for weeks #28, #32 & #33 of hp_smutday . The prompts used were Hunger, Lost, Pain, Pregnancy, Ruined, Secrets, Sweet Little Lies, and Tempestuous. Many thanks to firstflier for beta-ing this for me and keeping it all hidden from tangograce who has been dying to read this since I started it (and I’m totally posting it in parts to torture her).
“Why do you care so much, Severus? Lily Evans is your one and only true love, remember? I was only around to keep your sheets warm.”
Marlene stared ahead, a finger pressed to her temple, brooding over her lack of self-control. How such a strong, independent, stubborn, modern woman like herself could easily allow her heart and hormone to control her actions was beyond her comprehension, all she knew was that it made her sick to her stomach.
She was unable to allow herself to be happy. Here she was, finally with someone who loved her and yet, she did everything in her power to screw it up.
“Is it true?”
She yanked her arm away from his death-grip, her flesh stinging from his touch, her eyes burning with pure, unadulterated hatred.
When he’d come crawling back to her, she should have killed him, walked away, anything but throw words back at him. Fighting with him always woke something primal from deep within her.
It was sickening.
Their entire relationship had been nothing more than one long rollercoaster of fights, sex, and break-ups, with false whispers of love.
She thought she loved him, but love wasn’t supposed to hurt that much. It had taken a man she’d once proclaimed to hate to make her realize what an emotionally abusive bastard Severus was.
If someone had told her back in Hogwarts that the man she’d find real love with would be Sirius Black, womanizer, taker of her virginity, and seemingly selfish prat, she’d have laughed in their faces. Now she wished someone had and saved her the trouble of finding it out for herself.
“Touch me again and Sirius will be hearing of it.”
Twitching slightly, Marlene did her best to fight off all thoughts of Severus, but she couldn’t avoid her actions. The only thing to do was come to terms with them and confess them. The guilt was eating her alive.
“Marlene, don’t you think it’s time you forg-“
Finishing her drink and slamming her glass down a bit more forcefully than she’d intended, she looked up at her friend, who had once been her rival.
“Lily, I’m not forgiving him this time. Sirius does everything he can to get himself killed and I’m not-“ She took a breath, fighting off the desire to cry. “I’m not sitting around and watching him do it. If he insists on going against The Order and seeking his own brand of justice, then I want nothing to do with him.”
Sirius’ knack for trouble hadn’t escaped him once he left school. Now it related to more dangerous matters, like the war. Since the murders of the Bones family, he’d been out for blood, even more than usual.
She could only handle seeing him hurt so many times before finally giving him an ultimatum, one that he’d chosen to ignore.
Severus had been a cruel, neglectful, secretive bastard and while Sirius couldn’t see it, his actions were just as hurtful. Worrying whether or not this time would be when he was finally killed because he went after someone alone was more than she was willing to deal with, even if she did it anyway, whether or not they were speaking.
“Marlene, it’s been two weeks, you’re both a mess. What’s the point if we-“
“What, we’re all going to die anyway?” She rolled her eyes.
“No, if you’re going to worry anyway, wouldn’t you rather be with him. What if we do…Marlene, do you want one of you to die with the other knowing that the last things you said to one another were…”
“That he’s a selfish prick and I’m an uptight cunt?”
Lily looked down, her cheeks pink.
Marlene sighed. Right. She motioned for another round.
“Haven’t you had enough?”
Why hadn’t she listened to Lily?
Because life was cruel and she was too stubborn for her own damn good.
The rest of the night had been a long blur. Lily had tried to get Marlene home, but Marlene was a drunk, belligerent, angry mess, and Lily left her in the care of Rosmerta so she could go fetch someone in the Order to help her force Marlene home against her will.
By the time Lily returned with Remus, Marlene had found her way to an alleyway to throw up.
“You never could hold your liquor.”
“Fuck you, I hold it just fine.”
She could hear the sneer in his voice and it was enough to make her blood boil. True to her fashion, instead of ignoring him, she decided to engage him in a battle of snark, because she couldn’t help herself. As much as she loved Sirius, she’d always have an unnatural pull to the slimy git.
Somehow, she’d wound up pressed to a wall, with his lips at her neck.
“Touch me again and I’ll kill you.”
“I don’t think you will.”
His lips found hers and while she tried to fight him off, she soon found herself giving in, not stopping things until they’d gone too far.
She’d left him jelly-leg-jinxed in the alley as she escaped home to cry and scrub every inch of him off of her.
Wiping at her eyes, she looked up as the door opened, knowing that this was it.
“Sirius, nothing is-“
He took her hand as if nothing had happened between them, like the last month of avoiding one another hadn’t happened, and he wasn’t here on her request that they ‘talk’. The look in his eyes broke her heart. He really did love her and she was about to destroy him.
“I know, I’m the scum of the Earth and you’re done with me, aren’t you?”
She closed her eyes. He was far from the scum of the Earth. He was an arrogant bully at times, which had sparked her initial hatred of him in school, but he couldn’t help it. His entire family was evil, it was his defense mechanism. In reality, he was a sweet, loyal, brave man who, like everyone else, had his demons. No matter how much he worried her or how much she hated the danger he liked to get himself into, she could never truly be done with him. But he was surely about to be done with her.
“You’re not…I’m sorry. You didn’t deserve me chucking you out when all you were doing was trying to fight this war, just like the rest of us. I may not agree with your methods, but it’s you, I wouldn’t expect anything else.”
He sighed in relief. “I promise, I’ll be more…I’ll try to worry you less.”
Marlene smiled. He would never break a promise to her, so of course he wouldn’t promise to stop.
Sirius took her face in his hands and moved in to kiss her, but she turned her head.
“There’s something I need to tell you and I think you may hate me for it.”
Her eyes moved down to the floor, a tight knot in her stomach. For the first time it occurred to her that she wanted to be happy, to have a normal, safe life, with Sirius. She’d like nothing more than a house, her job, Sirius, and a few children, but things couldn’t be that easy. This war ruined everything and had jaded her view of life. Why want to be happy when you were probably going to end up dead and all of your friends kept getting murdered?
Yet, she was only now realizing how precious whatever time they had left was and she didn’t want to waste it anymore. But now it was about to be completely shattered.
Sirius’ body tensed with each passing second and with each second, she was even more at a loss of what to say to him.
How exactly did one confess to having hate sex with the love of their life’s enemy?
“How many times?”
Marlene’s head shot up, her eyes wide, and her face pale. How did he…
“Don’t, I know you too well. That look on your face right now…I haven’t seen that look since the night you finally left him. That soulless, dead look, like he’s stolen a big part of you. So, how many times?”
She closed her eyes, ashamed that she was so easy to read. Had he been expecting this to happen eventually? And if so, she felt even worse for not proving him wrong.
Marlene had felt no guilt for spending the night with Sirius when she’d been with Severus. The night she’d given in to him, she’d become free of whatever pull kept her in that horrible relationship. Severus loved Lily, always had, always would, and any other woman in his life served no purpose other than as a sex toy and his outlet for his anger with life. She’d justified his indifference towards her as a reflection to his terrible childhood, but in reality, nothing could justify his unhappiness and while he hadn’t deserved to be cheated on, she had never once regretted it.
But giving in to Severus, while she and Sirius were on the outs, kept her awake every single night, sick to her stomach with disgust and guilt. As much as Sirius was probably hating her right now, she hated herself a hundred times worse.
“Once,” she whispered, looking away from him. He didn’t need to see her cry. Hell, she didn’t deserve to cry, or feel sorry for herself in front of him. He was the victim, not her. She was the evil, villainous bitch who deserved whatever misfortune came her way.
To her surprise, Sirius didn’t yell, didn’t storm out, and didn’t break anything; instead, he pulled her to him, forcing her chin up so she could look at him.
“What did he do to you?”
Blinking, she took a long moment to find words, too confused to speak. “What do you mean? Sirius, he didn’t, I was drunk, which I know is no excuse, I-I think Lily left me to find James or Remus, I was being a bit belligerent with her, I ended up in the alley to throw up, and then I…I was upset and angry and it just happened and I’ve been sick about it ever since.”
Sirius brought their faces so their noses were touching, his eyes boring into hers. “Baby, if you were so drunk that you; A. Fighting with Lily, B. Sick, and C. Forgetting parts of the evening, he took advantage of you. I don’t care how much you want to blame yourself, any man knows better than to prey on a woman that vulnerable.”
No, he wasn’t doing this. He couldn’t be forgiving her for this, no man was that Saintly, he was either insane, or secretly plotting to murder Severus. She was assuming the latter.
“Sirius, I-I didn’t stop-it’s my fault too! Don’t be so calm about this, I hate myself for what I did, and so should you.”
Something flashed across his features, a look that frightened her to the core, but it was gone in an instant. “Trust me, I’m not at all calm about this, but it’s not you that I hate, it’s him, and when I see him-“ Sirius’ neck gave a slight twitch, the anger boiling inside of him threatening to let loose, but he regained his composure quickly. “When I see him, he better pray there are witnesses to stop me from killing him.”
“No, I’m not done. I can’t hate you, this is partially my fault. You wouldn’t have been in the situation if I hadn’t gone off after Bellatrix. You gave me a choice and I made it. Even if I could hold you accountable for your actions in such a state, we weren’t together, there’s nothing for me to hate you for, you were free to do whatever it was you chose to do, just like I chose to fuck everything up by thinking you’d keep putting up with my daredevil acts.”
Who was this man and what had he done with Sirius? He was being so rational, so…grown-up about things. She wasn’t used to this side of him. There were two Sirius’, the one who played pranks, got into trouble with his friends, and annoyed Moody; then there was the one who would bring her flowers just because and washed the dishes. The one thing the two shared in common was their short temper, he was exhibiting extreme control. She didn’t know whether to be worried or not. On the one hand, maybe he was just trying to be better about it with her or he was holding it in, waiting to unleash it on someone, specifically, Severus.
Forgetting her own self-loathing, she sniffled back some tears. “Sirius, I’d really prefer that you be angry with me, I deserve it.”
“You’re angry enough with yourself. None of us is perfect, hell, look at me. You know how many women I went through at Hogwarts.”
She gave him a ‘no shit’ look. She’d been one of them. “Yes, I do recall you and a Ravenclaw in a broom cupboard. So romantic.”
With a roll of her eyes, she forgot why she was trying to convince him to be mad at her. She was nowhere near forgiving herself, but if he was choosing to not hate her, she wasn’t going to argue with him. Not only would it be futile, but she was through fighting, with him at least. There was still plenty of fighting to be done for their lives; they didn’t need to do it with the ones they loved.
“She was a feisty, spiteful little thing if I remember correctly. Spent years fighting with her. I should really look her up, she was a looker.”
His lips moved down to her cheek and she smiled. “I suppose you should. Silly thing is probably all alone with her books. You know how those Ravenclaws can be.”
“Uh huh, books and clearness,” he muttered, finding her lips.
Marlene let out a sigh of relief. This was how things were supposed to be and if God-willed it, she wasn’t going to let herself screw it up again.