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The Shadow by IloveNeville
Chapter 1: Realization
The coldest day of the year so far was drawing to a close, as everyone in the Gryffindor common room, wrapped their arms around themselves in an endeavor to stay warm. One person who did not have to hug himself, was a boy sat in his favourite armchair next to the fireplace. He had untidy light brown hair, and kind brown eyes. His robes were slightly more faded than the ones worn by those around him and he had noticeable dark circles under his eyes. Remus Lupin’s shabby appearance was barely noticed by the people of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was his sixth year, and most had become accustomed to his scruffy appearance. In fact, if Remus were to go to classes one day, in brand new robes, many heads would be sure to turn. He sat, helping his friend Sirius Black with a particularly difficult Potions essay on the Draught of Living Death. Remus was always happy to help his friends out, for they had stuck by him in his time of need and for that he was forever in their debt.
“So what’s next, Moony?” Sirius said with a huff, pushing his long hair out of his eyes. At that moment, Sirius heard a group of third year girls giggle from the other side of the room. He looked up and gave the group a wink. The girls giggled even louder. Sirius Black was used to this kind of attention. He’d been getting it since his first night at Hogwarts.
“Padfoot, stop winking at third years and finish this essay,” Remus said, a smirk across his face.
“Hey, I’m just giving the people what they want.”
Remus rolled his eyes and placed the textbook he had been reading down on the table. He had grown used to his friend’s vanity. It was what Remus had envied most about the boy seated beside him. Remus had never been as sure of himself. Never felt himself deserving of normal friendships. Of friendships at all.
“Okay, you should conclude it with what I’ve written here.” Remus scribbled a few lines on to a blank piece of parchment and passed it to Sirius. Sirius copied it down and leaned back in his chair. “Well I need to run down to the library before it closes.” Remus stood, glancing at his watch. “I’ll see you later.” Sirius yawned a thank-you as he lazily waved his friend goodbye. Seconds after Remus had disappeared through the portrait hole, Sirius was disturbed by one of the eager third years.
“Hi Sirius,” The slim brunette said.
Sirius looked up, and as he did the girl took an intimidated step back as if regretting her decision to approach the infamous Black. “Erm, I was wondering if you wanted to, er. To go to Hogsmeade with me this weekend,” She said, a flush of colour to her cheeks.
“Sorry, I’d really love to but I’m already taking someone,” He lied.
Sirius admired the girl for having a go, but he was Sirius Black after all. A lot of girls wanted to date him, so he didn’t waste his time on the ones three years his junior. Everyone wanted a piece of Sirius Black and James Potter. The thought of his best friend made him stop for a moment. He hadn’t seen James since dinner, which was quite unusual, as the two were practically joined at the hip. Sirius stood up, deciding to find his Two Way Mirror in his trunk, upstairs in the 6th year boys’ dormitory. He walked past the third year girl, who stood for a moment with a look of deep confusion, before turning and walking back to her friends.
Just as Sirius was approaching the steps to the dormitory, he heard the portrait hole fly open. He turned around, expecting to see his bespectacled best friend grinning up at him, but standing in the portrait hole entrance was not his best friend but rather Jane Glossin, best friend of Lily Evans. She had long blonde hair, and dark blue eyes that were extremely hard to read. Sirius had never really spoken to Glossin. He often saw her sitting with Evans in most classes, the two girls listening attentively to whichever professor was teaching. Sirius watched as she tucked her hair behind her ear, and pulled her bag higher up her arm. After several moments, when Jane’s eyes met his own, Sirius realized he was staring and ran upstairs to his dormitory. Once inside, he stood for a moment, trying to remember why he had come upstairs, but his mind was blank. Giving up, he decided to go to sleep, forgetting all about his best friend and the Two Way Mirror.
Jane was returning to the Gryffindor Common Room, after dinner. She had to run to keep up with the angry redhead beside her, her best friend Lily Evans.
“Lily, I think he really likes you. Why don't you just give him a chance? He might surprise you.”
“Because he's so arrogant. I can't stand being in the same room as him.” Lily’s voice was harsh.
“He offered you his jumper because you were cold,” Jane argued, though Lily simply gave her a deadly stare, and Jane dropped the subject immediately. The two girls walked in silence for several moments, the only noise heard was the clunking of their feet against the hard stone floor. Lily was the one to break the quiet.
“Oh I forgot. I need to go to the library quickly. I'll see you later,” she said running down a side corridor. Jane didn’t even have a chance to respond before her friend flew around a corner and was gone. With a deep sigh she continued, slightly puffed, towards Gryffindor Tower alone. As she passed a dark classroom she heard mutters coming from inside. Jane stopped curiously and quietly put her ear to the door.
“It'll be okay Prongs. She'll come around eventually.” Came the calming voice of Remus Lupin. There were several seconds of silence before someone else spoke in a defeated voice.
“She hates me Remus.” It was James Potter. "Am I a bad bloke? Tell me, honestly."
“No,” Remus sighed. “You’re the best bloke I know.”
At this point Jane ripped her ear from the door, in shock. She knew who he was talking about. He was talking about Lily. She had never known Potter to be this emotional. Sure, she could see that there was more to James than Lily could, or was willing to see. But Jane had never imagined his feelings were this deep. She desperately wanted to comfort the boy. That was the thing about Jane Glossin; she could never help but want to comfort those in need, even James Potter, who she scarcely spoke to. In fact, the only Marauder that she did speak to on occasion was Remus, as they were the only two Gryffindor students enrolled in sixth year Arithmancy.
Quietly, Jane tiptoed away from the room until she could no longer hear the muttering of the two boys, and then broke into a run. She slowed as she reached the portrait hole, looking up at the portrait of a rather portly woman wearing a frilly pink dress, she spoke.
“Cauda Draconis.” Within a second, the portrait had moved aside to reveal the entrance to the Gryffindor Common Room. As she entered Jane saw Sirius Black turn around on the steps in front of her. He was a very attractive boy. His long shaggy hair covered his grey eyes. But Jane always thought him quite conceited and rude. She walked towards her dormitory steps, pushing a stray hair behind her ear. Looking back up, it gave her a great feeling of discomfort as she noticed that Black was watching her. As if he felt her unease, he turned swiftly and sprinted up the stairs to his room. Jane stood rooted to her spot for several moments, before shaking it off and running up her own set of stairs. Unfortunately for Jane, she missed a step and fell back down to the bottom landing with a great thud as her mouth collided with the bottom step.
“Seriously Poppyseed, I’m fine,” Jane groaned, as she stood in the Hospital Wing, with blood from the large hole she had bitten through her bottom lip now drenching the front of her robes. Madam Pomfrey had of course healed the puncture immediately, but her lip had inflated to the size of a quaffle.
“What did you just call me?” the stern Madam Pomfrey said, turning around in horror.
“Erm…Madam. Why, what did you think I called you?” The nurse just shook her head in a dismissive manner, before picking up an ugly congealed potion and passing it to Jane.
“You’re staying the night, Miss Glossin, and that’s final. Now drink.”
“I’m actually feeling much better.” Jane forced a smile but winced with the pain.
“Miss Glossin, you need rest. Drink your potion and get into that bed.” She pointed to a small rigid looking bed situated next to the window and overlooking the school grounds. Jane considered this before turning back to the stern woman.
“Okay, I’ll make you a deal. You let me go and-”
“Stop making such a fuss and drink it!” The woman watched Jane swallow every last drop of potion before turning on her heels and walking towards her office. “And don’t even think about escaping,” She said without looking back, closing the door behind her.
“Evil sadist,” Jane muttered under her breath before climbing into the allocated bed and falling asleep almost instantly.
Sirius lay awake in his four poster bed that night, he looked out the window at the night sky. The full moon was coming up very soon, in a few days it seemed. Sirius was keen for some more troublemaking with his mates. He loved the full moon, although he was always sorry that Remus had to suffer the pain and sickness of his transformation. Suddenly, Sirius noticed the intense silence within the room. Peter’s snoring could always be heard echoing through the dormitory at this time of night, but there was nothing. Just the sound of his own breath. Often James and Sirius would get all the pillows and blankets in the room, and build them on top of Peter’s sleeping body, until the pile would reach the ceiling. Then they would sit on their beds eating Licorice Wands, as they talked about all the girls in the school. They’d mostly talk about Lily Evans. James would talk about her the entire night.
“I’m going to marry that girl one day. You just wait.”
“Prongs, I think you will too.” Sirius would laugh, secretly hoping to Merlin that his friend’s infatuation would soon end. They sometimes spoke about Glossin, too. James had even suggested Sirius court Glossin, so as to get him in with Evans. But Glossin was far from Sirius’ type. Maybe Remus’, but never would Sirius want someone so dull. Then in the morning, the two would be woken by the muffled yelps of their friend across the room trapped underneath a mountain of blankets. Remus would always tell them off.
“What if he’d suffocated? How would you feel then?” Remus would say disapprovingly. Though Sirius could often see a flicker of amusement on his friend’s face. He rolled on to his stomach and dozed off to sleep, dreaming.
He was running down a windowless passage, drawing closer to the plain black door at the end of the corridor. Something behind that door lured him in. It seemed as if the plain black door moved at the same speed he did, it did not seem to be getting any closer. Finally he reached the door, as he leant forward to push it open, everything around him disappeared and he was now looking down on a small white room. A woman sat near the window. She had tears in her eyes. Sirius had a great desire to comfort the woman. He saw her long blonde hair resting against her bony shoulders. It was no longer thick and beautiful but had thinned and was now quite messy. Her bronzed skin, now pale and ghostly. She looked well beyond her years. As if she had lived enough pain to last a lifetime. Sirius felt as if he knew the woman. As if it were his job and his alone to soothe the poor woman’s pain, though he couldn’t. He could have been a bird, an angel. Either way, the woman could not see him. All of a sudden the room dissolved and Sirius was falling gracefully backward. He felt a sense of relief as a cool veil swept against his skin. He saw eyes around him as he fell, they all watched him silently, before a shrill and triumphant scream was heard and everything went silent once again.
AN/ Thanks for reading guys! I really hope you liked it. Please leave me a review. Leave one if you liked it, leave one if you hated it. Just so I feel loved, okay? I'd like any constructive criticism and I always try to read your stories so if you want me to read and review your stories than there's one way to make that happen... REVIEW! Do it now!