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Chapter 2: Chapter 1
Step 1 - The Necessary Self-Introduction That, Needless To Say, Blowed.
First of all, if I wanted to take a step closer towards that ten galleons promised to me, I would have to introduce myself to Sirius Black. And what harder thing is there to do than to approach a group of cool male Gryffindors surrounded by a gaggle of gorgeous, pretty eyed and blessed-in-a-certain-area-i.e.-torso girls.
It was a free period and the Marauders were lounging about under a large oak tree, shading their beautiful skin from the harsh sunlight. Naturally, a group of girls would be following their every step and it was only fair to say that they were there too. Under the large oak tree.
I looked to Tammy hesitantly and furrowed my bushy brows. I looked at her. Pained. Not wanting to endure this torture. She raised her eyebrow at me and told me to go.
“Go!” she whispered roughly, pushing me forward, quite forcefully if I do say so.
I groaned and hissed at her before leaving on my million mile journey towards the Marauders. On the way, I played with the hem of my sleeve and tucked my hair behind my ears. Each step was a step closer to hell. To ten galleons, actually! That was my conscience speaking its mind. An optimist, that thing is.
My heart hammered against my bones and my stomach fluttered so much that I felt sickly sick. I got closer and closer and by the time I could hear their voices, I felt an insane urge to scamper the other way.
The girls were huddled around the boys, laughing and giggling sweetly. As anticipated, no one noticed me. I turned to look at Tammy, only needing a second to find her hidden behind Brad and Neo who, up till this point, had no idea where I was.
Brad would have been a fairly attractive bloke. If not for his horrible comb over and large black glasses and not to mention, braces (he wasn’t as fortunate as me in the parents department). The typical geek. His green eyes and premature stubble were surprisingly spectacular though... Despite the fact that they had been magically enhanced as a result of the constant bullying the bloke gets. I guess it was a way to mend his far too damaged self-esteem...
Neo, on the other hand, was a genius! He was very attractive, although not as attractive as the Marauders as Tammy and I would often remind him, and he was a bloody genius! Deep, large brown eyes and long lashes with sandy, unkempt hair. Drool.
Tammy mouthed to me, “Go!” and I could just imagine the constant nagging voice hitting the side of my brain if I had backed out.
I grit my teeth, faced the Marauders, or I think it’s better to say the back of a dozen girls, and coughed. Again, as anticipated, no one heard me. Not even the slightest of shifts back towards me.
I coughed again. That attempt also thwarted by my non-existence. I looked at the group, unimpressed at their ability to notice others. Deciding, the heck with it.
I tapped the two girls directly in front of me, who jolted from astonishment, and pushed past them, a meter closer towards the breath-taking beauty of the Marauders, who were sitting besides each other against the thick trunk of the tree.
My heart stopped as each and every person ceased their conversation and turned to me. I felt itchy from the glares and jeers of the girls, and I felt even more itchy from the curious looks of the Marauders.
“H-h-h-hi” I stammered, unable to force that one syllable word out. I noticed Remus smiling kindly at me, while Sirius, the boy I needed for ten galleons, raised an eyebrow. Though, so ruggedly and oh my gosh, so handsomely. James, I noted, was looking elsewhere and Peter was staring down one girl’s cleavage. Even cleavage is a prettier sight than my face, I guess. “I’m Penny. Penny Huckleberry from Ravenclaw.” I waited for a reply. When none came, I let out a small quivering groan that everyone managed to hear. “I ju-just thought you’d like to know.”
I looked to Sirius, who’s black curls framed the strong and highly defined features of his face. Have I ever told you that he was beautiful? The way his alluring grey eyes and thick dark lashes clouded the world around me. and the way his firm chest heaved in and out as he breathed. I could’ve died from the avid thirst for this man. A part of his suspicious leer was the soft, pursed pink lips that I so longed for.
I stared at those luscious lips and gulped. I caught the boys look at each other, grins on their faces as though I’d just said the most hilarious thing in the world.
I hesitated, looking to each of the Marauders. James had the air of unbearable arrogance and vanity as he ruffled his already disheveled raven black hair far too casually. Smirking as he raised a dark eyebrow, pushing the circular spectacles that cased his glimmering hazel eyes back up onto the bridge of his nose. Then there was Remus, the only genuinely kind face present. His hair was sandy and short, defining the creases and wrinkles that were just visible on his face as his smile shined brightly. Then Peter. The shortest and tubbiest of them all. His brown hair was long and straight, sweeping past his ears. He had small, beady black eyes that seemed to study my every move. Not that he had the mental capacity to do so.
I waited another second before speaking, “I’m just- I’m just gonna go now.” I pointed backwards, back towards sanctuary. I bolted out of there sooner than anything. Really. I ran straight back to Tammy, who’s eyes widened as soon as she saw me.
“Don’t run back here, don’t run back here!” she waved her arms around, frantically. Brad and Neo turned around and stared at me, dumbfounded.
“Did you just go up to the Marauders?”
“Did you just talk to the Marauders?”
“Why did you run back here!”
I ignored Brad and Neo and instead, stared at Tammy as though she had a million heads.
“They were watching you! And now they know I’m associated with you!” Tammy groaned into Brad’s lower back, as she was too short to reach anything above that.
“What is going on here?” both guys asked, their voices surprisingly low and manly, despite their appearances.
“They were watching me?” I gasped, out of breath. I was about to turn back but Tammy had slapped me on the arm.
“Don’t turn back, you idiot!” she shrieked, her wavy blond hair covering her face from the shame.
“But you just said-”
“Shut up, Penny! Tell us what’s going on first, will you? And then you two can go bicker all you like.” Neo said, chuckling lightly.
I frowned at him, narrowing my eyes at the two as they stared back at me calmly.
“Tammy and I have made an agreement. In short, I get ten galleons if I’m able to prove to everyone that opposites attract and Sirius falls in love with me.”
For some strange reason, Tammy had run away. She bolted back towards the castle and all I could do was stare at her slowly disappearing figure.
“Get Sirius to fall in love with you?” a small growl with a hint of amusement said behind me.
I couldn’t turn around. I stared at Brad and Neo who smiled at me, amused. They merely shook their heads and walked off. Leaving me alone with the mysterious stranger behind me.
I still hadn’t turned around and the newcomer was forced to move in front of me. I almost died when I saw his lined face.
I opened and closed my mouth like a goldfish on land, wriggling up and down in an attempt to find water. However unsuccessful that was.
“I’m Remus,” he held out his hand, beaming a smile so bright, “I thought I should introduce myself after your introduction.”
I gaped at him and held his hand briefly. I was afraid of contaminating it with my unwashed hands. Remus had a lot of hidden scars on his face. Never noticed it until now. Partly due to the reason I’ve never seen him up close and partly to another unknown reason that actually does not exist.
“It was a nice introduction,” he said, putting his hands in his pockets. “Not a lot of people would ever do what you just did.”
“Not a lot of people are idiots like me.” I muttered to myself. I froze and looked to Remus who’s expression displayed delight. I locked my gaze onto his eyes, which were soft, kind and a deep blue.
“Apparently not.” he replied, scratching a long scar on his chin. “Well, we’ll see you around Huckleberry.” He graciously moved to the side and smiled one last time at me before prancing off to join his little group.
After a few seconds, I dared to brave a quick glance back, much to my dismay. I felt myself blush a dark crimson colour. They had all been staring back at me. I could’ve cried. I could’ve broke down onto my knees right then and there. But instead, I decided that I was hungry and moved on to the Great Hall where I could feast myself to some well deserved chocolate cake.
There she was! I spotted Tammy instantly, her blonde long hair showering the back of her head which lay motionless on the table. Right beside the chocolate cake. Yum!
I settled myself right next to her and barely acknowledged the discomposed state she was in. Instead, I politely offered her some cake. Only to find it splattered all over my lap.
“What did you do that for?” I whined, tapping the crumbs with my wand.
“Because you’re such an idiot!” she screeched. I was quite used to that word today. “That was Remus! Remus Lupin! Remus Lupin from the Marauders, Penny! The Marauders!” Her repetition didn’t fail to do what it was supposed to. The name stuck in my head. There was a chorus of Remus, Remus Lupin, in my head and it was quite difficult to rid of it.
“Tammy, do you remember that time you ran away? I figured that it was Remus Lupin then when he stood in front of me and introduced himself.” I told her matter-of-factly, helping myself to another piece of cake. She wasn’t placed in Gryffindor for a reason.
“Why couldn’t you just keep your mouth shut?” she snorted rhetorically, lifting her shame ridden face. “Well what happened?”
I paused eating my chocolate cake, sucking on my spoon as I recounted what had happened, watching Tammy’s eyes widen as I told her about Remus and I’s conversation.
“I told you he was nice to everyone!” she exclaimed, hitting me hard on the shoulder.
I rolled my eyes at her.
“But you know what this means, don’t you?” I scooped up the remaining chocolate crumbs on my plate, “It means this agreement’s gone to waste.” I slowly placed the spoon right before my mouth, licking my lips in desire and sniffing the chocolatey scent. I opened my mouth and closed it to discover the crumbs were gone.
Tammy had slapped me extremely hard, once more. And there they went. Falling to the floor. What a waste.
“You can’t let that happen!” she told me, “You can’t!”
“What can I do about it, Tammy? Honestly!” I groaned, frustrated by her antics.
“Get up. Go up to him. Explain to him properly. And beg him to not tell Sirius!” I didn’t move. There was no way I was going back there. “In the name of science go! Quickly! Go!” Not that it was really science... She ushered me out of my seat and I found myself doing what she wanted me to.
Have I ever mentioned how demanding that woman was? She is that demanding that she could’ve very well have been the Imperius curse in her previous life.
I shook my head to myself as I exited the Great Hall. She was a mad woman! How can she honestly expect me to go back there, I thought to myself angrily. I was right about to exit the grand oak doors when I happened to bump into the very person I intended to meet. Curious, how things work.
“Oh, Remus!” I exclaimed excitedly. I wouldn’t have to confront the rest of them, like I’d feared. Oh wait. I spoke too soon. There they came, running merrily and oh, how Sirius’ fluffy hair bounced. I could’ve swooned if Remus wasn’t there, smiling happily.
“Huckleberry,” he nodded, his voice mysterious and alluring. “How can I help you?”
I couldn’t speak to him about anything then. The rest of the Marauders had caught up to him and were laughing loudly for the entire world to hear. Surprisingly, the girls weren’t there. And what a huge surprise that was.
“Moony! You should’ve seen that! Wormtail just stacked it over nothing.” Sirius roared in laughter, pushing Peter as though there was nothing funnier than the little tub tripping over. “Oh.” he stopped abruptly when he saw my face. Wow. That did wonders for my self-esteem.
“Oh,” I said quietly, slightly downhearted.
“Sirius, remember, this is Penny Huckleberry from Ravenclaw.” Remus placed a hand on my shoulder and I went rigid. I was not used to the hand of a Marauder on my body.
“Oh yeah, you.” Sirius smiled slightly, while James stiffled a laugh and punched him in the shoulder.
It was as I’d expected. Remus had told him what he overheard me telling Brad and Neo.
“I’m Sirius,” the handsome bloke before me finally said, putting a hand out.
I froze, gobsmacked. My eyes watered from the shock and the exhilaration that was emitted from my core. I shook his soft, velvety hand and I could’ve died right there. I continued shaking it until he pulled back, awkwardly.
“James,” the other guy with jet black hair and glasses waved, smirking. “But I’m sure you knew that already.” How much righter can you get?
“And I’m Peter,” Peter nervously put a hand up and gave a little wave.
I nodded at him, with short glances back at Sirius and Remus. I didn’t want to rid myself of the beautiful sight before me. Gosh.
There was an awkward silence, which this time, I couldn’t bask in. Not that now, I was the cause of it.
“Well, goodbye then.” James finally said, pulling Peter into a rough side embrace and leading him away.
Sirius nodded curtly before following after the other two. It hasn’t even been a day and I had already blown it. So much for my master plan. Goddamit.
I was thinking to myself, muttering little words that expressed how disappointed I was in myself and how that ten galleons would never be mine. And no, I did not just forget about Remus. Okay, I lied. I did.
I looked up when he had coughed politely.
“Remus?” I jumped, surprised. “Remus!” I asked now that we were alone and I had landed back on earth, “You didn’t... You didn’t tell Sirius did you? Because it’s totally not what you think!” I was freaking out and I could feel my stomach churning with bile. And chocolate cake. Mmm.
“Penny, calm down. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” he winked, with an even more pronounced smile that was unbelievably cute. “Have a good night.”
He sauntered off calmly and I couldn’t help myself but look after him. The way he walked the floor so gently, unlike all the other boys who happen to tread like trolls.
I bit my tongue, which hurt quite a bit actually, as he looked back suddenly. He smiled with a raised eyebrow and continued on his merry little walk.
That was my third near death experience that day. And counting.
Author's Note: Hi guys! I hope you've liked this story so far.. :) & Don't worry, there will be loads more of the Marauders in the next few chapters! :D
Please leave a review as they shall be appreciated ;P