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Chapter 15: Make Me Over; Step Three, The Epiphany
I sat in front of the fire place of mine and my mum's cozy home. I had convinced her that she should go out and celebrate the New Year with some of her friends. After much coaxing on my part, of course, I finally managed to get her out of the house. A lot, of coaxing, actually. Either way, it was 11:04 p.m. as I stared into the orange flames of the blazing fire. The same things continued to play repeatedly in my head, I was still thinking about Christmas and all that had happened, even now.
Dad had somehow managed to get to my hospital room, after much shouting at the woman at the front desk. Mum arrived about an hour after him, and they let me leave with my parents after another half hour. My parents thanked Mr. and Mrs. Potter about a billion and 7 times, which they of course waved away, saying that they felt responsible for the whole thing anyway yadda yadda.
I was very grateful to the Potters, don't get me wrong, but there was so many other things on my mind then- so many things that were still on my mind, a week later. Remus was a large part, of course. He hasn't spoken to me at all since the St. Mungo's fiasco. I don't know why this bothered me, but I guess I was just expecting something to happen, despite everything. And explanation or something, bloody hell anything would be better then just sitting here and waiting and thinking and Merlin knew what else I'd gone through.
From what I've deciphered out of Sirius' owls, Remus has been acting rather oddly since everything happened. Apparently, he has been disappearing in the middle of the night and sneaking back into the house just before dawn. He talks in his sleep, when he does sleep, and Sirius says that he thinks the dreams about me, but he won't tell me why or what they envolve. Sirius won't really tell me anything else, actually. He says that it's up to Remus to be the Gryffindor and tell me what he needs to say. Sirius said that he can't do it for Remus; It wouldn't be right.
Complete bullocks, in other words.
I let out a frustrated groan and torn my eyes away from the fire, letting my head fall back against the couch with a soft thump. "What the hell is going on?" I mumbled, of course greeted only with silence.
11:09. The fire continued to crackle dully in the background of my thoughts.
Erin had wanted to come over, but I told her to spend some time with her family. She had ran out on them Christmas Eve to come see me, and they weren't too happy with me for it. I told her that she needed to patch things up with them if she wanted me to feel comfortable at her house again. Her parents had a way of letting you know without words that they weren't fond of you. A very strong way of showing it. They'd always made me slightly nervous to be around, but I needed my proper doses of Erin, so I dealt with the uncomfortable atmosphere. However, at the moment, I think it'd be a wee bit too strong for me to manage and deal with, even for my best friend. She grudgingly agreed after days of me pounding it into her head.
I don't know why, but I just had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I needed to spend New Years alone. If I was honest with myself I think it was just me needing some alone time to process everything finally, but I felt the small tugging of hope that maybe something magical was yet to happen. Just maybe.
The minutes were slipping by, right through my fingers. You know, when you stop to think about it, living isn't all that great of a thing. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second even- is just another step toward death, toward the end of the wonderful thing that is 'living' to beginning with.
How bloody depressing is that?
Gods, this is depressing! I'm 17 years old! I'm an intelligent, fully capable woman! There is no reason I should be just- just sitting here! I should be out there, celebrating the New Year! I should be enjoying my life while I still can! There was nothing standing between me and vast world outside besides the walls of this house. There was nothing stopping me from going out and experiencing a good part of life except me!
However, as these inspiring and empowering thoughts encased me, I felt a slow sense of drawback and hesitation.
What did I want to do?
The response was immediate and sharp, to the point where I felt myself standing before I even thought to do so. I was walking through the living room, pulling my wand out of my pocket and flicking it at the fire to put it out, without pausing to think about what it was I was planning on doing or going.
Grabbing my keys from the table next to the door in one hand and my coat in the other, I walked out of the house. I felt a sudden, fierce surge of determination overwhelm my entire system. My heart pumped almost painfully against the inside of my chest. I felt tingly with anticipation as I slammed the door behind me.
My toes felt cold, but I didn't stop to register the fact that I was still in my pajamas (consisting a grey long sleeved shirt with a black shirt that read 'The Pickled-Eyed Toads' over top it and my favorite yellow pajama pants with pink and blue strips going up the legs) and fuzzy black slippers. I turned my heel on the spot and disappeared with a loud crack! from the excited cheering within the houses surrounding me.
In a swirl of colors and the expected suffocating feeling, the Potter's home soon came into view. I marched up to the porch and up the steps before banging loudly on the door.
After a few moments the door swung open to reveal a laughing James with a frowning Sirius behind him. However, their faces were identical once seeing me. Shock.
"I want to talk to Remus." I stated firmly, looking around them. "Now." I added forcefully.
"Er, he- he isn't here, Connor." Sirius said, looking confused. "He's at his place."
I felt myself deflate slightly. "His place?" I repeated dejectedly. I groaned. "I don't know where that is..."
James looked at me closely, before taking my arm. He turned on the spot and we left a surprised Sirius behind in an instant.
You know, being squeezed through a tube never gets better. You may think that it gets better, but it doesn't. I don't think it's something I'll ever get used to, to be perfectly honest, especially when it takes you by surprise.
"Right there." James said to me, as the world slowly stopped spinning rapidly around me. "It's just him there with his parents. He left my place yesterday to spend the New Year with his family."
I nodded, looking at James with an intense surge of gratitude, despite the sudden Apparation. "Thank you." I said quietly. I don't know why he was so determined to help me, but Merlin knows that I appreciate it. Imagining the situations that would have occured if I didn't have the help was ghastly.
He nodded, glaring at Remus' house defiantly. "You're welcome." he held my arm for another moment, looking over at me. "He's stubborn as a mule, Connor." His tone was utterly serious, more serious then I'd ever seen him before. It was slightly frightening, to be honest. Not to mention unnerving. "I'm telling you now that it won't be easy to get him to agree. He thinks he's doing 'the right thing'," James rolled his eyes as he said it. "And it's damn near impossible to dissuade him when his mind is set like this."
I nodded, smiling slightly at the tall young man in front of me. "I know it'll be hard," I said honestly. I felt a grin sliding over my face. "I can be stubborn." I told him with a small hint of defiance.
James smirked and I felt much more comfortable at the normal expression. "Alright." he said. "Just let me know how it goes. We're all rooting for you, just so you know."
He looked at me encouragingly for another minute or two before taking a few steps backwards and then spinning on his heel with the familiar crack! of Apparition.
I took a deep breath and turned to look at the small house 5 yards away. Light poured from the windows and gave off a warm feeling. I watched as Remus was pulled reluctantly into the room by a woman that I assumed was his mother. He sat with his arms crossed, pouting slightly as she pushed him down onto the worn, cream colored couch. She handed him a noise maker and he had a small smile pulling at his lips as he took it from her.
I slowly let the breath out and strode forward, my toes numb from the accumulating snow on the ground. My hair, which was now blowing messily around my face, was flecked with the falling snow. I felt my breath hitch as stumbled a bit nosily up to the door, not knowing what to expect next.
I rose my hand shakily to knock on the faded green door. After a moment of hesitation, I left my fist fall forward and... missed the door by a few inches. I blinked at the door and then glanced over at my hand. I couldn't help voicing my incredulous thought aloud. "Did I honestly just miss the bleeding door?" I questioned loudly, appalled at my idiocy.
There was a moment of silence that followed as I gaped at myself before there was a sudden sound of sliding wood and metal. My head jerked to the left and I felt my heart skip a beat in surprise. Mrs. Lupin's head appeared, her eyebrows furrowed in curiosity.
She saw me and her eyebrows shot up. "Oh! Hello?" she said in a politely confused sort of way. "I'm sorry, I thought I heard someone out here, so I thought I'd look... Is there something I can help you with?" she asked uncertainly.
I bit my lip in embarrassment. "Um, actually, I was wondering if I could speak with Remus?" I managed. There was a loud thud and a shout of surprise, which caused Mrs. Lupin to glance inside her home with concern.
"Are you alright, dear?" she asked. There was a pause where the person replied. "Well, if you're sure, there's a young lady at the door who wants to talk to you-"
The door swung open swiftly to reveal Remus in all his glory. Dress casually in Muggle clothes and noise maker still in hand, he stood with his hand still on the door and looking at me with mingling shock and frustration.
"Remus, is- are you- alright?" His mother asked uncertainly, glancing between us.
His eyes roamed over my body and appearance for a moment, contemplating on how to answer his mother. "Yeah," he told her hoarsely. "It's fine."
His mother watched us for another moment before pulling her head inside the house and closing the window.
Remus' eyes met mine and I felt my heart skip a beat. It was silent for a moment, before he took a deep breath and stepped aside. "Come on." he muttered as he made a small gesture for me to come in.
I stepped into the house warily, unsure of what was happening. He closed the door with a quick snap behind me and I felt a wave of warmth wash over my skin and I shivered slightly. A large hand took my wrist immediately and pulled me rather roughly toward the staircase.
I looked over the railing to see Mr. and Mrs. Lupin watching us curiously. The minute I looked over Mrs. Lupin looked away, but Mr. Lupin stared back at me. He seemed to be realizing what was happening and his eyebrows were drawn together in thought. He offered me a small, warm smile that I knew Remus had gotten from him and I returned it quickly before Remus drug me out of sight and up the rest of the stairs.
He pulled me along a small hallway and threw open the second door on the left. It banged loudly against the wall and I winced at the sound. As soon as we entered his room he dropped my wrist as though it burned him and pushed the door close just as loudly.
His back was facing me for a few seconds and he stared at the door, breathing deeply a few times. I left my eyes rove the contours of his broad figure.
His sandy colored hair was shorter, but it still had that little curling thing in the back. His neck was faintly tanned, like the rest of his (what I've seen, that is) person. He was wearing a dark grey long sleeved, button down shirt that was tight around his shoulders and looser around his waist. A well rounded (from what I've heard) bum was hidden in the baggy folds of dark blue jeans that trailed to the ground, hiding the back of his shoes in a flurry of frays.
I wondered mildly what was going to happen tonight, as I watched the back of the tense young man in front of me. It could go several ways, and to be blunt, the majority of them where not satisfactory in my opinion.
However, as he turned around, I knew I wasn't leaving this house until I got what I wanted out this evening. What I wanted out of this evening, I wasn't entirely sure... but I'll be damned if I give up on it. Whatever it was.
Because, I believe I just had an epiphany and a solid strategy come to me, all in one;
If he wanted to be stubborn about this, fine, but I think someone should be nice enough to warn him; I could be just as stubborn as he could- if not more so.
Especially when I know I'm right.
Because, honestly, have you ever tried to prove a Ravenclaw wrong?
Well, personally, I liked this chapter alot. It's alot happier and it was loads of fun writing.
However, I've got news for you;
Chapter 16 will be the last chapter of Quiet Connor.
Personally, I'm startled at this fact. I was expect this to stretch to around 20 chapters, but I've got the ending in my head and I plan of getting it done all in Chapter 16.
I've got a good 4 hours of pure Casey Connor and Remus Lupin action ahead of me, and I'm hoping you guys will like the ending. I'm not sure if I'm going to attempt an epilogue or not, but I'm sort of doubting it. I think Chapter 16 will end this story rather nicely, and that I'll leave it at that. But you never know.
Another note, I finally managed to set up a Meet The Author page, so check it out! Ask the questions you've been wondering and I'll do my best to answer them.
Also, I'd like to credit the absolutely amazing mikkitheninja for the awesome banner for Quiet Connor! You are the beeeeeeest! I heart you as much as I heart cookies. (which is really really saying something, because a person more fond of cookies I doubt you could find.)
I believe that this is it for my incredibly long Authors Note for Chapie 15!
Rate, review, go visit my Meet The Author page, be excited!