Two weeks after Amy's funeral, the members of Ravenclaw House were still moping about the castle. Many of them skived off classes, unable to actually care about anything other than their friend. Phoenix had landed herself in detention every night for a week, because she'd learned the identity of the Slytherin who'd jinxed the Bludger that led to the girl's death... and attacked him.
It had been a plain Muggle funeral, since both of Amy's parents were Muggles. Anyone in Ravenclaw house, or otherwise associated with Amy, was allowed to leave to go to her funeral. The Quidditch teams from Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Gryffindor went, as well as around four dozen other students from those houses, including Lily, Sirius and Remus. They'd all brought flowers to bury with their friend, except Phoenix, who brought the Snitch that the girl caught in her last game, and still held in her hand when she'd died.
Halloween was also the first Hogsmeade weekend. Under any other circumstances, Phoenix would have gone with Remus and had a good time with him and the other Marauders. But as the day drew near, she realized Remus wouldn't be going either; Halloween was the full moon. She hadn't offered to go with him to the Shrieking Shack either, which was very uncharacteristic of her. However, she knew how painful it was for Remus to go through the change, and she didn't want to see him of all people in pain right now.
"Darkheart!" Phoenix lifted her head up, looking at Professor Slughorn, the walrus-like man who taught Potions class. "I understand you're tired, but please try to stay awake for class. You have a test tomorrow."
"Right," she muttered and laid her head down again. Slughorn was the head of Slytherin House, and yet he still loved people from all houses, which was strange for a Slytherin. Lily was, by far, his favorite student -- but Phoenix was in the top ten with Remus and, to her disappointment, Snape.
When the bell sounded, Phoenix headed to Ravenclaw Tower to change before serving her last night of detention. Remus was waiting outside the entrance, as usual, waiting for her to come around. He'd done this every day the past two weeks: he'd waited outside the tower after classes, he held Phoenix in his arms and talked to her to make her feel better, then he'd kiss her softly and walk her to the infirmary, where she served her detention scrubbing bedpans by hand. When no one was looking, however, Madam Pomfrey let her use magic, and let her go no matter how quickly she finished.
"Hey," she said softly, walking to him. He pulled her to him for a long, gentle kiss. They both ignored the Ravenclaws coming in and out of the tower, staring at them.
Finally, Remus pulled away, stroking her cheek. "How are you feeling?"
Phoenix shrugged. "My last day of detention, so no too bad."
Smiling, he brushed a strand of hair from her face. "Want to go to Hogsmeade with me tomorrow?"
Phoenix raised a brow. "You're going?"
He nodded. "For an hour or so. Anything more will kill me."
Phoenix smiled and nodded, brushing a few strands of hair away from his eyes. "I can live through an hour."
"Good," he said, smiling. "I've got a surprise for you."
He smiled and kissed her forehead. "It wont be a surprise if I tell you, Nyxie."
Phoenix looked up in his eyes, her own twinkling. "You've never called me that before."
"Oh," he said, blushing. "Well, I could call you something else?"
"No," she replied quickly. "I like it."
"Good." Taking a deep breath, he looked around. "Er... when do you have to be to detention?"
Phoenix looked down at her watch. "I've got an hour."
"Run upstairs and get dressed quickly then," he told her, walking her to the portrait. "I want to take you somewhere first."
When Phoenix was dressed in her usual Autumn attire (a loose black sweater and black denim jeans), she returned to Remus, who blindfolded her. "This is another surprise," he said as he led her by the arm to where they were going. He took a couple of shortcuts, then finally led her within a room and shut the door behind him.
"Ah... the Room of Requirement," Phoenix said as Remus pulled the blindfold down from her eyes. "It's..."
"My bedroom," he chuckled. "At home." Phoenix looked around the room, smiling. It was messy. Parchment and books lay scattered everywhere, and not even the bed was made. The walls were a light brown, and the blankets on his bed were dark brown to match the carpet. Chuckling, she turned slowly to look at Remus, whose face was reddening quickly. "I just wanted to be someplace with you," he said, shoving his hands in his pockets. "Someplace where we wouldn't be found, and where I felt safe... where you could feel safe, too." He gulped. "As you can see, I don't clean much."
Phoenix smiled, pulling him to her for a kiss. "I love it." Pulling him to the bed, she laid down and pulled him with her, then checked her watch. "Fourty minutes until detention. It takes about ten minutes to get there from here, but five if I run..."
"You might have to," he said with a smile. "So I have thirty minutes with you... that's plenty."
He nodded, leaning over to lock his lips with her own. He'd been waiting for months to do this, though he wouldn't admit it to anyone. She began wrapping her arms around him, but he seized them quickly and pinned them down to the bed. Moving over onto her, he kissed her harder, sliding his hands around the small of her back, up her shirt. "Ugh," he groaned, tugging on her tanktop. "Cheater. You wore two."
Phoenix chuckled. "Well I can't just make it easy, can I?" she said with a smile. "After all, it took you two months to get this far."
"If you're going to complain, I could always stop." Remus glared unconvincingly at her, then smiled and leaned down to kiss her again. He pulled her sweater up to her chest, then let go of the kiss to raise it up over her head. He threw it aside and slid his hands under her tank top, running his hands along her stomach and sides. Here he was in bed with Phoenix Darkheart, one of the best looking girls in school... there could be nothing better.
Then suddenly someone knocked on the door. Remus groaned as Phoenix pulled away, wishing she would let him continue even if the person entered the room. "Ignor them," he whined, burying his face in her neck.
"Remus," she chuckled, running a hand through his hair. "Oh come on, we'll have plenty of time to do this when I'm not in detention. You're acting like it's your only chance."
"Not my only one, but my first one," he growled, sitting up.
Phoenix laughed and jumped on him, giving him a long kiss. "I'll tell you what," she said, brushing his hair back. "Meet me here after dinner, ok? We'll finish then." She smiled and kissed him once more before grabbing her sweater and heading for the door.
"What do you mean, finish?" Remus asked, watching her leave. He actually hadn't planned on more than what they'd just been doing... what did she mean, though? "Damn," he muttered as she walked out and Sirius came in. Remus crossed his arms. "Of course, it had to be you."
"Stupid birds," Sirius muttered as the Marauders, Lily, Julia, and Phoenix sat eating dinner. "Can't make up their bloody minds! I mean, what's wrong with you all?" He looked down the row at Lily, then across at Julia.
"Am I still not included, then?" Phoenix asked with a grin, staring at her plate.
"What are you talking about?" Lily asked, looking from Phoenix to Sirius.
"I've never been counted as a girl around this lot. I'm too much like them."
Lily shook her head. "Well if you tried dressing up a bit," she said, nodding to Phoenix's clothes. She was in all black again, only now it was a tank top, pants, boots and a dragonskin trenchoat laying on the bench beside her. "Then maybe they would realize you are one."
Sirius choked, pounding his fist on the table to keep from spitting out a mouthful of potatoes. Judging by the look in his eyes, he was laughing VERY hard inside. James snorted, then came to Phoenix's defense. "Hey, I noticed she was a girl a long time ago," he said with a smirk to Lily. "A very randy one..."
"You're not helping!" Phoenix said, throwing a roll at him. "And I'm not randy."
"That's not what I heard," he muttered, biting off a mouthful of the roll that was just thrown at him.
"Oh?" Phoenix asked, setting down her fork. She leaned on her elbow, putting on a half-seductive, half-poisonous glance. "And whatever have you heard, Prongsie?"
James turned away, the smile wiped from his face. "I'm not saying."
Phoenix chuckled, cutting the act.
"Oh, you're talking about what Sirius told us?" Peter called from across the table and three seats left of James. "About her and Remus in the Room of--"
"Shut up!" James hissed, avoiding Phoenix's gaze. But she didn't look at him. She looked at Sirius.
"You bastard," she growled. "Don't you know how to keep your mouth shut?"
"Now, now, Phoenix," Remus chuckled, his cheeks slightly pink. "He can't help himself."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Sirius said hotly.
"Well, we always laugh about your 'adventures'," Remus said, looking over at him with a smile. "I suppose you think it's only fair that you talk about ours, and I can't say I have a good argument otherwise."
James and Phoenix chuckled, watching Sirius. "So you laugh about me, huh?"
"Sometimes," Remus answered honestly. "Oh come on, Padfoot. You do the same--"
Remus stopped and groaned when something hard hit him in the back of the head. Phoenix turned to him quickly, then looked around for the culprit. A group of Slytherins sat at their table, laughing loudly. "Sorry Nyxie," called a shorter, black-haired girl in their year. "I didn't mean to hit your boyfriend. That one was supposed to be for you."
"Bella," Phoenix growled, standing up, Sirius following suit.
Remus grabbed her arm and tried to pull her down. "Phoenix, no... not here."
"But that wench--"
"I know," he said again, turning to Sirius. "Padfoot, sit down."
Phoenix and Sirius took their seats again, both of them fuming. It was through Bella's parents that Phoenix and Sirius were related, but they hated the family nonetheless. Bellatrix Black was their least favorite cousin, and Phoenix's mortal enemy, which were both well-known facts to anyone in the school.
After ten more minutes of insults from across the room, Phoenix's patience was wearing thin. Sirius was no longer eating, but staring at the table, bending the fork clutched in his fist.
Bellatrix went so far as to make a comment about Lily being a "mudblood" loud enough for even the professors to hear it, which sent Phoenix over the edge. "I can't listen to her shit," she said, standing up. Remus acted as though he was going to stand as well, but Phoenix put a hand on his shoulder. "Stay. Eat your dinner, and I'll see you later." She turned to leave the hall, brushing her hair back out of her face. That whore, she thought, her rage consuming her. How dare she... who the hell did she think she was?
"Miss Darkheart!" Phoenix stopped and turned around, looking at Professor Lazarous run to her. He stopped halfway up the flight of stairs Phoenix was on. "I'm surprised," he smiled, crossing his arms.
"I'm guessing this has something to do with me?" she said, crossing her arms in front of her in a more casual position than the professor's.
"You did not attack Bellatrix," he said, nodding. "That took patience and a great deal of self-restraint."
"So, controlling your temper is something you need to learn to become an Auror, and I'm proud you're already learning."
"I'm glad it makes you happy," she said sarcastically.
"You don't like me, do you?" he asked with an amused tone in his voice.
"However could you tell?"
The professor glared at her. "You've got your father's presumptious nature as well." He shook his head. "Your father is a good man, he just lets his pride get in the way of everything he cared about." He walked up the stairs, passing Phoenix. "Don't make the same mistake."
"And what makes you think you know my father?" Phoenix asked, turning to look at him. "Or me?"
Lazarous turned to look at her. "When we were in school, he and I were best friends. We were up until the time your grandfather died. The circumstances of which was the reason for our falling-out."
Phoenix's sarcasm disappeared. She was never told how or why her grandfather, Nicholas Darkheart, died. "How did he die?" she asked, unable to help herself.
Professor Lazarous watched her with interest. "You don't remember?"
Phoenix shook her head. "I was three when he died, I know that. My earliest memory is when I was almost five."
Lazarous frowned. "I'm sorry," he said to her. "But it's not my place." With that, he walked away, leaving Phoenix in quite a state.
Phoenix, unable to think of anything better, chose her own bedroom when she reached the Room of Requirement. There was her canopy bed with dark green blankets and matching velvet hangings fell down on the sides. The carpet in the room was dark green, and the walls were a jade color. Her father decorated her room when she was younger, to match her eyes. He'd done the same with her sister's room, only the colors were blue instead of green. Cserri had changed hers over the years, but Phoenix couldn't bring herself to change any of it. It had a certain older style that just fit her.
Sighing, she laid down, watching the flame of the only candle in the room flicker as she waited for Remus to arrive. She didn't have to wait long. He knocked quietly, then entered, sealing the door before walking to her. "You shouldn't let her get to you," he said softly, sitting beside Phoenix, brushing her hair back with a gentle hand.
"Easier said than done, Remus," she replied, sitting up. She leaned over to kiss him slowly. He was in Muggle clothes now; a greenish-brown tee and a pair of blue jeans with holes in the knees. She loved it when he looked like this, though she couldn't explain quite why.
"Wait," he said, pulling away from her for a moment.
"What is it?" she asked.
"It's silly," he said, rubbing the back of his neck. "I just don't know if I feel comfortable doing this... in here."
"In my room?" Phoenix asked.
"No... the Room of Requirement."
"Talk to me," she said, kissing him softly on the cheek. Part of her really didn't want to know, judging by the look of sadness on his face. He also looked at her as though she was going to go off on him, so she knew it had something do do with...
"Julia and I," he began, swallowing hard. "We came here a lot." Phoenix nodded. "I brought her here for the same reasons I bring you here, just with less feeling behind them, of course," he explained. "The night she broke it off with me, she wanted to meet me here. We, er..." He couldn't finish his sentence. He was digging himself a hole he couldn't get out of, he knew. But he had to trust her. "Anyway, after it all happened... she broke up with me because she'd figured it out. She figured out I was a werewolf."
Phoenix would normally have been upset with Remus a little, but instead she looked surprise. "She waited until after you two... did it, to break up with you?"
Remus looked at her curiously, then nodded. "Yeah. That was the first and last time we ever did that, I swear," he added, defensively.
"That bitch," Phoenix growled, clutching her pillow. "That lowly, slutty--"
She looked at Remus, then shook her head. "I'm sorry, I just..." She leaned over and wrapped her arms around him, pulling him to her. So Julia had used him, then dropped him. Despite Remus' issues, that had to have been hard. Really hard. "Still blame me for wanting to kill her, then?" she asked with half a smile.
Remus kissed the side of her head, then hugged her tighter. "I was really afraid of telling you that story," he admitted. "I was afraid you'd leave, too."
"Then why did you?" she asked, confused.
"I want you to know I trust you," he said, looking down, away from her eyes. She rested her forehead on his, and his head was tilted at the perfect angle for staring at her breasts. God, he thought, swallowing visibly. He'd gotten to feel her stomach, sides, and back so far... but above that was something he was sure came later in the relationship. He'd thought about it, sure. But he knew they were far away from that point.
"Yes?" he asked, looking up into her eyes.
Phoenix smiled. "You were staring."
He cleared his throat. "No. No, I wasn't."
"You don't think I know what it looks like to have boys stare at me?"
"That's not it--"
Phoenix put a finger over his lips, smiling at him. "You're allowed to, you know. Look, or even touch if you want."
He felt like his pounding heart had somehow gotten loose and lodged in his throat. "Wha... what did you say?"
Phoenix giggled. "You heard me, Remus Lupin. I said 'touch'."
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