Chapter 1 : The North Tower
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“Class dismissed…” Professor Binns said in his ghostly groan as all of the Hufflepuffs and Slytherins sighed in relief. It had been a long day, even you had to admit. You could see the dark clouds billowing across the sky, ready to unleash lightning onto the ancient school.
“Thank you Professor.” You said quietly as you exited, tucking a piece of burnette hair behind your ear.
“Good day Leala” Professor Binns sighed as he whooshed through the wall. A smile tugged on your upper lip as he said your nickname. The one you had since your first sorting, that Dumbledore had said. Apparently, you were very loyal (according to the sorting hat… but who understands that thing anyway?), and he had spoken it as if he had said it everyday:
“Ah… my little Leala. Hufflepuff shall be a brilliant house for you.”
You smiled at the thought. You did love Hufflepuff. Even if others said it was the weakest. You all worked hard, and most got okay grades because of it. Like you.
But… then again, who isn’t when you are shy?
You see… you were the worst kind of Hufflepuff. Yes, you were good in classes, but you were… shy. Intimidated, even. How could you break out when others where dancing around acting like maniacs?
You walked slowly down the hall, taking your time. You couldn’t really go outside, like you usually did after class, so you headed for the north tower. It would be nice and quiet up there, perfect for you to concentrate.
You gingerly walked up the winding stone staircase, one hand on the rail with the other griping your bag. You peered around the corner, and your throat caught in your throat. It was beautiful. He was beautiful.
The rain beat the roof and windows tenderly and steadily, making it sound very quiet and serene. He leaned one side of his face up against the glass, making his cheeks and nose pink. He was hugging his knees, sitting on the ledge with his eyes closed. You couldn’t tell if he was trying to calm himself, or just resting.
“Are you alright?” You asked quietly, surprised at your own boldness. He jumped and stared at you, his eyes seeming as if he was surprised you were even there, and you shifted on your feet uncomfortable.
“Are you alright?” You asked again, a little louder. “You looked a little peaky…”
“No… No I’m fine.” He said as he let his legs down to the floor, never taking his eyes away. You squirmed again under his gaze.
“Oh… okay then.” You said, looking away. You turned and gripped the rail again, a little sad that you couldn’t have your spot.
You whipped your head around to look back to the top of the staircase, right into the amber eyes of the boy. You had to hold back a sigh.
“If you want… you could come back up here. You were going to… I don’t see why you can’t… join me?” He asked, shyly, looking down to his shoes, a blush creeping onto his cheeks.
“Oh… um…” You shifted again on your shoes, not sure of what to say. “I am… I have to go to dinner.” You said, mentally smacking yourself. ‘The one time a cute boy asks me to study, I turn him down… why??’
‘Because,’ you thought, ‘I never have the courage to say yes.’
“Sorry…” you said, tucking another stray stand behind your ear. “See you then.”
“Wait!” He called out again, making you stop and turn around.
“Yes?” You said, smiling a bit.
“I never caught your name.”
“Just call me Leala.” You said, turning around once more and walking the rest of the way down the stairs. You started to reach your hand out for the knob as you heard his voice ring out again.
“Yes?” You asked again, laughing at the idiocy of it all.
“You never asked my name!”
“I know…” you asked, smiling as you opened the door and let it swing slowly behind you as you walked down the empty corridor.
You turned around again to see the boy jogging after you, so you stopped to let him catch up, then continued to walk by his side.
“Remus.” He said, introducing himself, “Remus Lupin.” He repeated as he stuck out a hand. You jumbled with your bag, then shook his hand lightly as you blushed a bit.
“What we’re you going up there to do?” He asked as he jammed his hands into his pockets.
“I was going to do some homework… relax… you know?”
“Actually... I do.” he said smiling, which made you blush a bit.
“Well, I have to go…” You said as you both entered the front hall.
“Is your common room around her?”
“Yes, it is.” You said as you quickly looked around for any other Hufflepuffs wandering around. There weren’t. Not even another student.
“Where is it anyway?” He asked, looking around as well.
“Well, nice to meet you Remus.” You said as you waved over your shoulder, heading towards the kitchens.
“Ya… okay… Bye Leala!” he said brokenly as he stared at your retreating figure. You gave him a short smile before turning around all the way and walking briskly down the long corridor, and into your common room. You went to the nearest black couch, and let yourself melt into it, with your book bag by your side.