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Chapter 10: Chapter Ten: One Size Fits All
The September air was cool and crisp, wiping through the hair, and lightly stinging Lexi’s face, but she hardly noticed. Instead her attention was focused on Remus’ hand, which had moved from her arm, his fingers twined with hers. The heat from their palms eliminated any chill she might have felt, and all the coherent thoughts she may have had.
He brushed past the other students politely, stopping every once in awhile to look down alleys and pathways. She said nothing, figuring that he knew the one James and mentioned better than she did. He was the one normally involved in their stupid schemes anyway. He stopped after about five minutes of wandering, pulling her into an alley behind him.
The alley was paved with cobblestones, same as the rest of the town, but instead of being packed with people it was littered with empty barrels and crates. The discarded containers bore the labels of the products they used to contain; nearly all were from Honey Dukes. The sun illuminated the short and narrow way, but was still inconspicuous enough to make a good place to wait unnoticed.
“Well, its not the prettiest place I’ve ever been, but it’ll do,” Remus commented, heading about half way to the back before slumping against the wall.
Lexi sat on a barrel next to him. “This has to be one of James’ duller plans.”
He laughed, searching the inside of his coat for something. “Oh, it can only end badly. Thankfully, we got the easy end of the scheme.”
Wishing she had brought her own jacket, she watched him pull something out of his pocket. “Chocolate?” he offered, snapping off a piece.
“I always have some,” he commented, smiling at the puzzled look on her face. “Very calming stuff.”
She took it from him, watching as he started to shake his olive colored coat off. “You might as well take this too,” he told her firmly. “It’s cold out here.”
Her heart started pounding unnaturally fast as she took it from him. “Remus, if you haven’t noticed, I’m about 5’3”. There’s no way this is going to fit.”
He grinned. “Just pull it on, you’ll see.”
With a bemused look, she did as he said, and was shocked to find it a perfect fit.
“It was my Father’s,” he explained. “He put a very neat spell on it, so it’ll fit whoever wears it. Even giants like me.”
She smiled, settling back against the wall. “Well, thank you.”
After about a half an hour of sitting, Remus stood, pacing back and forth between the crates across from Lexi. A slightly apprehensive look and crept onto his face, and when he met her eyes, it was with a brief and unnerved smile.
“Is it all right if I ask you a personal question,” he finally questioned, breaking the silence.
“Sure,” she answered, feeling just as nervous as he looked.
“Do you…Well…Do you fancy anyone?”
“Nungurlge,” she choked, completely taken back. That was not what she had been expecting.
Remus smirked suddenly. “He sounds like a nice enough fellow. Foreign, I’m guessing?”
“Bulgaria is nice this time of year,” she rambled. “What with the trees, and other foliage.”
“Lexi.” She met his eyes, startled by their intensity, “Seriously.”
She looked away, running a hand through her choppy hair. “You,” she muttered so quietly he could barely hear.
“What?” he asked, not unkindly.
Lexi cleared her throat. She had never been more embarrassed in her entire life. “You,” she said loudly this time. “I might possibly like you.”
He cocked his head, an unusually smug smile playing on his lips. “Is that so?”
Lexi nodded, her blue eyes wide. She’d never seen such a feral look on anyone’s face, let alone Remus’. Subtly she took a step back, the butterflies in her stomach threatening to do away with all rational thought. His grin widened.
“And what if I told you I felt the same?” he asked, his voice wavering a bit towards the end, but his expression never changed. “What would you say?”
Suddenly she could barely breathe. Maybe I should tell him I’m engaged to a Swiss watchmaker, and run. That couldn’t be anymore awkward than this.
He took another step forward, and she found herself backed against the alley wall. The twinkle in his amber eyes was almost criminal, and Lexi was sure her heart would pound through her chest.
“Nurknefurgle,” she muttered, trying not to turn beet red. Good thing she was so articulate, or she’d risk looking like an idiot.
His arm was suddenly on the wall, his presence looming over her. He bent his head, leaning closer to her. She could feel his breath on her face, see the darker flecks in his eyes.
“Lexi,” he whispered, lips mere centimeters from hers, “I quite fancy you.”
She couldn’t help but smile, electricity flowing through her veins, and he did the same. She closed her eyes when his lips were about to meet hers. Lexi could hardly believe this was happening, she couldn’t imagine that Rem-
The earsplitting yell was followed by a large body crashing into her and Remus, knocking them over the barrels at their side. She landed on her stomach with a thump, shielding her face so it didn’t hit the cobblestones. An elbow dug into her side as two bodies landed on top of her.
A familiar voice started to shake with laughter, but Lexi found nothing about the situation funny. In fact, Sirius was officially on her list of people to do away with.
“Oh, Merlin, that was a blast,” her cousin gasped. “I haven’t head that much fun since James fell off his broom during the Quidditch Cup last year. The look on McGonagall’s face…I’ll never forget it.”
Lexi scowled, trying to draw a breath, which was proving difficult for the harder Sirius laughed, the harder his elbow went into her ribs. “Get off, you giant dick.”
“You’re smothering her, you sod!”
Suddenly Sirius was gone, and too quickly to have moved by himself. Looking up, she saw that Remus had him by his arm, a very angry look on his face. Serves the prick right.
“Are you alright?” Remus asked, as Lexi slowly got to her feet. “I’ll beat him if I need to.”
She smiled wryly, dusting herself off. “Nothings been damaged but my dignity, which I should recover in about ten years.”
Sirius squirmed out his friend’s grasp, massaging his upper arm dramatically. “She’s fine, Moony. Now, if you would shut the hell up, and leave your sappy crap for later, I’ll tell you a thrilling story.”
Lexi rolled her eyes. Sirius’ idea of a thrilling tale often resulted in severe boredom, and the only interesting thing that ever came from being forced to sit through them was placing bets on how long it would take for him to notice.
“Just spit it out,” Remus snapped, clearly still irritated. He walked to Lexi’s side, taking her hand in his. Sirius narrowed his eyes, over Remus’ tone or their hand-holding, Lexi wasn’t sure.
“Lexi,” he said, ignoring Remus, “what I ran all the way over here to tell you is that our favorite twat is on his way.”
“Wait, what? I thought you were supposed to lead him away from us, so James could pull this whole thing off?”
“Change of plan, Lexi-A-Thon,” he smirked. “You fail to acknowledge that spontaneity is a Marauder’s best trait.”
“Sirius, the only Marauders I know of are grave robbers, so yes, I’m failing to see what your point is.”
“And neither of us have the vial anyway. Padfoot, you’re an idiot.”
Sirius glared at him, pulling a small mirror out of his back pocket. “Prongsie, you there?” he asked it.
The little square of glass glowed red for a few seconds, and then James’ voice seemed to resonate from it. “Where are you? And don’t call me Prongsie, you twat.”
Lexi heard Lily laugh, and James mutter something to her. “Where did they get those?”
Remus chuckled. “The same place they get most things. They filched it from our most beloved caretaker, back in second year. Sirius has one, and James has the other. I have to admit, they’ve come in handy.”
“I’m with Lexi and Moony. The latter seems to be in quite a foul mood, I say we sort him out later,” Sirius replied, smiling at his companions.
“What in the name of Merlin’s plaid trousers are you doing over there? You’re supposed to be with Peter, on patrol.”
“Oh there’s no need for that anymore,” Sirius reassured James with his most winning grin. “I know exactly where Sniv is.”
“And that would be where?”
“On his was back to Hogwarts.”
Lexi couldn’t stop herself from laughing as James’ loud swearing caused Lily to reprimand him. “Guess we weren’t the only ones he surprised.”
“Sirius?! What were you thinking? How does that at all make sense with Plan Alpha Stone?”
“They don’t need to be named,” Remus muttered under his breath, “they’re stupid enough as it is.”
“Just keep on walking, Prongsie, and you’ll see why things are a bit different.”
Lexi and Remus exchanged startled looks as Sirius stuffed the mirror back in his pocket. There was a wicked smile on his face as he peered down the street. Ducking back quickly he pulled a small bottle of green glass out of his pocket.
“Umm, Sirius, what are you doing?”
“Well, I figure that I owe James a little payback. He’s been awfully surly lately, and pulling this prank on him would be a lot more fun than doing it to Snape.”
Remus groaned. “He’s going to kill us all. Lexi, you might want run for your life.”
“Too late for that,” Sirius grinned.
He was right. James and Lily had just walked into their view, and Lexi watched as her cousin swiftly uncorked the vial, using his wand to siphon the liquid out. With a very dark laugh he charmed it to fly in a smooth ribbon directly onto James’ scalp.
Everyone in the street stopped what they were doing to watch James scrub his head fiercely. His hair looked rabid, soap foaming up and oozing down his neck. The shampoo was enhanced to have a mind of its own, and no amount of writhing was going to stop it from scrubbing his jet-black shock of hair mercilessly.
Sirius was laughing hysterically, and Lexi herself couldn’t stop from joining him. The potion was developed for Snape, who appeared to never have washed before, but James was very vain when it came to his appearance.
The plan had been for Sirius and Peter to be on watch for Severus, letting James and Lily know when he was close enough. Then Lexi was supposed to leave her hiding space and go distract him while Sirius doused him with the potion the boys had developed. There was a different one for Bianca, but judging from the amount of attention James was getting, that would have to wait.
“Sirius, you son of a bitch! I’ll kill you,” the Head Boy bellowed dramatically.
“James! If you would hold still, I’ll help you out,” Lily snapped at him, fighting a smile. “And watch your mouth, we’re not at a bar you uncivilized git.”
“Lex,” Remus said, distracting her from the scene, “do you know what time it is?”
She glanced up at the sky, noting that the sun was half way towards the hills behind the village, and that the moon was glowing ever brighter. “About five,” she answered, checking her watch.
His face hardened for a second, but he smiled briefly, bending down to kiss her forehead. “I have to go, but I’ll see you around, alright?”
She nodded, but he was already gone, jogging past the cluster of students, and up the path to the castle. Lexi watched until she couldn’t see him any longer, feeling extremely puzzled by his behavior. With a shrug she walked over to Lily, helping her charm the serum out of James’ hair. It had been a weird day.
A/N: I'm so terribly sorry for the wait on the update. It won't be so bad for chapter eleven, I actually have quite a bit done for that one. I'd like to thank everyone who read and reviewed the previous chapters, I was considering giving this up but you guys kept me going. Sorry it wasn't that long, the next one should be quite lengthy. Huge-o props to TDA's .showmetheLOVE for dazzling us with another image! Any comments? I would love to her what you liked ot disliked. Was the Remus/Lexi interaction too soon? Reviews would be very appreciated! Thanks so much for reading!