Chapter 26 : Underneath the Cloak
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Chapter 26: Underneath the Cloak
“Okay, it’s been months and I still can’t get used to that picture!” Carisma threw her hands up in the air as she flung herself on the couch next to me. I followed her gaze towards the corner of the room where James and Lily were cuddling in an armchair, too busy gazing in to each other’s eyes to notice us.
“Didn’t your mother ever teach you that it’s rude to stare? Stop gawking at them!” Sirius placed his arm around me and added, “We can do that too, you know?” I rolled my eyes in response.
“Sirius, I am here you know…” Carisma poked her head in front of him.
“Oh Carisma! Didn’t see you there,” He called in pretense as Carisma stuck her tongue out at him. He leaned in closely and whispered in my ear, “So do you want to go somewhere private?”
“Sirius…” A hint of caution in my voice. Sirius backed away and sighed.
“Carisma, why don’t you go mingle with your Hufflepuff dreamboy or something?” Sirius leaned back, in an attempt to be nonchalant.
“Sirius, why don’t you make all three of our lives easier by stopping what you’re doing?” Carisma retorted.
“All three?!” Sirius raised his eyebrows.
Carisma nodded and stated simply, “Jen won’t have to bother to reject you,”
Sirius grumbled in response. I laughed, “Okay, let’s go somewhere private,”
“I win!” Sirius pumped his fist in to the air and mouthed, “It works every time,” to Carisma who responded by kicking him in the shins.
“Mother—" Sirius swore loudly as he hopped around the room clutching his leg in agony.
“Carisma!” I cried out in shock.
“He was getting on my nerves…” Carisma crossed her arms and glared at James and Lily, who still seemed oblivious of their surroundings even with Sirius jumping about in front of them, cursing at full volume.
“Padfoot, can you please keep it down?” Remus lowered his book and glared at his friend.
“Wow, Remus complained before James? This is NOT NORMAL!” Carisma shook her head in disbelief.
“He’s just so…”
Carisma interjected, “Yes, Lily, I know James is wonderful, can someone please change the subject? I beg of you!”
Lily hung her head, “Sorry, Carisma, I really didn’t mean to,”
“It’s fine, I’m just getting used to it, that’s all,” Carisma waved her off.
I glanced at Carisma. She seemed to be in such a terrible mood lately, it was starting to frighten me. I had never seen her this way. It really did come as a jolt to me that she’d react to James and Lily’s relationship this way. It was quite unexpected and frankly, quite peculiar. Carisma turned around after she felt her eyes on me and raised her eyebrows questioningly.
I chuckled nervously, “Nothing,”
“So…how’s everything going with that Hufflepuff boy?” asked Lily kindly.
Carisma shook her head, “Let’s not talk about that,” Lily and I exchanged glances. This was strange. Carisma was smitten about him. What in the world happened? Did this cause Carisma’s new found arrogance?
That night, as soon as I was certain that Carisma was out cold, I crept over to Lily’s bed and gently woke her up.
“What?” She whispered.
“Let’s go downstairs, I need to talk to you,” Slowly, I tip-toed softly down to the common room, the stairs creaking underneath my feet.
“I just really needed to talk to you about Carisma,”
“She has been acting rather oddly lately, do you have any idea what’s going on?” Lily tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear.
“No…she’s never been this secretive before, I wonder what could have brought this on,” I sighed.
“I’m guessing that it had something to do with that Hufflepuff,” Lily squinted her eyes as she gazed in to the fire.
“Hmm…but what? I mean, she’s been absolutely crazy about him,” I pointed out.
“We should pay him a visit,” Lily decided.
“Are you sure about this? Carisma might…you know…kill us,” I spoke up timidly.
“Well, it’s better than having to wake up to a grumpy Carisma every single bloody day,” Lily huffed angrily. My eyes widened. I don’t think that I’ve ever heard Lily curse before. This was definitely new.
“Let’s go, I’m knackered,” Lily yawned and we both headed back upstairs.
“PADFOOT, JEN’S HERE TO SEE YOU!” Someone hollered in my ear.
I scrambled out of bed like a madman, “What? Where?”
“Sorry mate, it was the only way to get you out of bed…” Remus commented. I glanced at my alarm clock, it was 8:20.
“I still have time,” I grumbled.
“Not if you want breakfast,” James laughed as I dashed in to the bathroom.
On the way to breakfast, James spoke up, “Valentine’s Day is coming up, do you have any plans?” I smirked and nodded in response.
“So what are you going to do?” James continued, slightly puzzled that I hadn’t told him anything.
“You’ll just have to wait and see,” I replied. James carefully twirled his wand between his fingers; a threatening impression appeared on his face.
“Why do you need to know?” We walked in to the Great Hall.
“Well, for one, I am your best friend and I reserve the right to know what you’re hiding!” James looked at me as though I had three heads.
“What’s going on?” Jen piped up. James and I stopped dead in our tracks and looked around awkwardly. She stood her ground and stared at me expectantly.
“Let’s eat!” James cried out cheerfully as he led Jen back in to her seat. Jen shot me one final suspicious look before allowing James to guide her back.
Back in the common room, when we finally had some privacy, James came over and attacked me with questions.
“Prongs, will you calm down?” I tossed a paper ball in to the fire and sighed, “I really truly do like her…”
“Who? Jen?” James asked stupidly.
“Yes, you twit!” I whacked him over the head with a pillow.
“Well, I’m sorry! I’m still getting adjusted to seeing you with just ONE girl…” James emphasized his point by widening his eyes in mock astonishment.
“Oh, you’re just hilarious…” I sarcastically remarked.
“So you want something particularly special to give her?” James pulled the thought right out of my head as I nodded eagerly.
“Do you have any ideas?” I questioned hopefully. James pondered it for a second before shaking his head. “Then what in the world are you getting Lily?”
“Oh, now that’s a secret…” James winked. I rolled my eyes and chucked my pillow at him.
As Carisma, Lily and I strolled in to Charms, I vocalized, “What do you think Sirius and James were talking about back there?” Lily and Carisma stopped and stared at me.
“I reckon they were discussing Valentine’s Day plans but I could be wrong,” Carisma shrugged as she flung her bag on her desk.
“Carisma, are you alright? You’ve been a little bit different lately,” Lily spoke up cautiously.
“It’s just…” Carisma opened her mouth but then closed it again as the Professor marched through the doors.
“Talk about bad timing,” I glared after the professor as Lily chuckled.
Directly after class, I pulled Carisma in to the corner, “So, what’s going on?”
“Let’s go back to the common room first…” Carisma glanced around uneasily, fearing that someone around us might eavesdrop. Nodding considerately, we all headed up back up to the common room.
“It’s…complicated,” Carisma began as she picked at the hem of her skirt apprehensively. Lily and I leaned in closer.
“This has something to do with the Hufflepuff boy, doesn’t it?” Lily blurted out.
Carisma’s ears reddened and nodded carefully, “You know how much I fancy him…” I nodded.
“Well, I’m just…I’m crazy about him, I can’t stop thinking about him and everything,” Carisma spilled and sighed, “And everything he wants, I give…”
“That’s the problem?” I patted her back softly.
Carisma nodded, “He’s seeing other girls, he doesn’t want me to but he is…it’s hard to see him with others but he keeps insisting that they’re just flings and that he has real feelings for me,”
“And you believe him!?” Lily cut in incredulously.
Carisma shrugged, “I…don’t know what to think,”
“Carisma! You’ve got to be off your rocker! Why are you still with him?”
“I like him so much…” Carisma broke down and began to sob. She was definitely hooked, that Hufflepuff prat had her wrapped around his finger. I couldn’t believe him and I couldn’t believe that Carisma was willing to go along with it. I’m absolutely gob-smacked; Carisma had always been the strongest one out of the three of us. I enveloped Carisma in to a hug and sighed dejectedly.
“What in the world is going on here?” James Potter stood behind us, gazing at us with an expression of shock on his face. None of us was used to Carisma crying. Lily shot James a glare and he retreated silently. I shook my head as the Marauders stepped out of the common room.
“Carisma, are you alright?” Lily murmured soothingly. Carisma sniffed and nodded uncertainly.
“Come on, let’s get you upstairs and in to bed,” Sympathetically, I guided her upstairs and tucked her in. Lily and I exchanged glances; we were going to have a long talk with her tomorrow.
Lily and I strolled back downstairs to see the Marauders occupying the main couches near the fireplace.
“Is Carisma feeling better?” James called out to us.
Lily and I shrugged, “It was all about the Hufflepuff boy though, our assumptions were correct,” I sighed as Sirius placed his arm around my shoulders.
Lily explained to the group about what had happened as James’s face slowly turned in to one of absolute outrage.
“Where is he? I’m going to—“ James stood up threateningly. Lily glared at him reprovingly as he obediently sat back down. I guffawed at how some things just never seem to change.
“Watch my back…” I whispered at…well to be honest, nothing. James and Peter, who insisted on tagging along, were hidden under James’s invisibility cloak. I paced back and forth until the wooden door appeared. I opened the door as quietly as possible and snuck in. The Room of Requirement, what would I do without it? It has become such a large part of my life. I couldn’t even keep count of how many times it has saved me from the wrath of the caretaker.
“Hurry up, would you? I’m freezing my arse off here,” James hissed.
The polished wooden floor of my parents’ bedroom creaked beneath my feet as I crept towards my mother’s vanity room. Flipping the light on, I almost had a heart attack when I saw my mother sitting there expectantly.
“Mother!” I cried out, shocked.
“Don’t you dare call me mother, I have no such son like you,” She turned away, refusing to look at me.
I knelt down next to her and without her permission, spilled my story.
“Padfoot!” I heard James hiss as I exited the room. James flung the cloak over my head and the three of us darted back to the common room.
“What took so long? I’m astounded that I haven’t turned blue!” James ranted. After a while, he stopped and looked up, “Padfoot, are you even listening to me?”
“Honestly, no…” I gazed in to the fire, beaming blissfully and feeling remarkably euphoric.
“Padfoot? Padfoot?” James repeated, “PADFOOT!”
“What?” I was jolted awake, “What do you want?”
“You still haven’t told me why you went back home?” James proclaimed slowly.
I yawned and got up, “I’ll tell you tomorrow, it’s been a very eventful night…”
Slumped forward, I watched Carisma twirl her quill around her fingers over and over again. We were in the common room, Lily was studying as usual and Carisma was catching up on some already-late homework. Rubbing my eyes, I turned around to see Sirius and James huddled in the corner. They seemed to be in deep conversation about something particularly important as I have never seen James looking that serious before.
“Where are you going?” Carisma glanced at me curiously.
“Just stretching my legs,” I informed her as I strolled over to where Sirius and James were.
I wrapped my arms around Sirius and I swear he almost jumped ten feet in to the air, “What…what…why…did…what are you doing?” Sirius stumbled all over his words, startling me. It was shocking to see Sirius stammering and stuttering, when he’s always been this confident and poised.
“Nothing…” I chuckled, “What’s going on over here?”
A light shade of pink appeared on Sirius’s cheeks as he swallowed nervously. James’s eyes shifted back and forth uncomfortably, “It’s nothing, we’re just in the middle of…preparing our next prank,” Sirius nodded unconvincingly on the side.
I peered at them suspiciously, “Erm…all right, I guess I’ll leave you two to it,” I retreated uncertainly.
What in the world is going on with those two? I shook my head in aggravation as I flopped back on to my seat next to Carisma. I guess I’ll have to find out some other day…
A/N: Thanks so much for reading! I'd really appreciate it if you'd leave a comment! Thanks in advance! Sorry for the long wait again...I feel so ashamed...
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