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Chapter 18 : Chapter Eighteen: A day in Hogsmeade
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When term started again Alice, Nathan, Remus, and Peter came back. They did fairly well at hiding their shock when they saw the newly formed couple.
On their way to potions Remus and James walked a bit behind the crowd.
“So, what finally tipped the boat?”
James smiled, “You know, I’m not really sure. I guess it was a gradual process. We got together on Christmas Day…it was great.”
Remus looked very pleased, “See, you treated her like a person and it worked. How do you feel?”
“Like I’m at the top of the world.”
James gave him a sidelong glance, “So you still seeing that sixth year girl I saw you with at the party after the first Quidditch match?”
“We’ve kept in touch,” he replied shortly.
“Have you been seeing each other?”
“What’s her name?”
“Oh yeah. Is the relationship going anywhere?”
“I don’t know. She’s been amusing me, but we’ll probably break up around the end of the year…”
James looked at him and raised an eyebrow, “Yeah. You just look like you’re dying to prevent that.”
He shrugged, “I don’t feel too much commitment right now. I mean, Lana’s amazing and all, but not someone to grow old with.”
“I have a feeling that you, James, are going to be to only one of us Marauders to really settle down with a girl.”
“Remus, come on…Wait! I know what the problem is. You and Lana are too similar…always studying and acting all noble. When you do get a girl she’ll be your wild side. You know, with neon hair or something. Ha-ha. And Sirius, well, he’s too cocky to ever really settle down. I mean, imagine if he were forced into a jail cell or something…he’d explode from the boredom and not having the ability to move. Hopefully he and Emma will have a good chance together.”
“That’s true. Personally, I think it’s this war that is causing everyone to suddenly pair off. Everyone’s afraid that they’re going to die and eloping left and right. It’s an absolute madhouse.”
“It is quite an extraordinary adventure,” mused James.
The day of the next Hogsmeade trip everyone was being checked and double checked to make sure no one was dealing with illegal substances. There were secrecy sensors all around the magnificent pair of oak doors in the Great Hall.
When the group of seventh year Gryffindors made it out they chatted merrily as they walked up the road towards the village. As they walked Lily grasped James hand and interlocked their fingers. He was slightly shocked, for she hadn’t sown too many signs of affection and he had always had to make the first move, but he caught her eye and gave her a dazzling smile that lit up his whole face.
They arrived at the Three Broomsticks and took a large table in the back and Remus offered to buy the lot tankards of butterbeer.
The first few minutes of the conversation were spent exchanging pleasantries with one another. After Remus brought the beverages it was a roaring tirade arguing about the capability of certain Quidditch teams.
“No!” cried Frank, pounding his fist on the table, “The only reason the Wasps have been doing so poorly this season is because their keeper can’t tell one end of the broom from another—,”
“Nah,” said Sirius, tossing his hair out of his eyes, “It’s the beater. What’s his name?...not Ludo Bagman…the other one…Harry?...Henry?...Well whoever he is…he keeps knocking his own teammates off their brooms. Personally, I think some people are taking turns confunding him before the games. But his performance has been downright sloppy.”
“Well that’s true,” put in Peter, “But honestly, the Seeker is the only player that really matters…and theirs is just lousy.”
Before anyone could respond Remus sat back in his chair and said, “Let’s just agree to disagree and just say the Wasps are a bad team in general.”
“But that’s not true,” said Frank, “I’m sure with a little work—,”
After a minute James got up to demonstrate an obnoxious version of a catch the Keeper had attempted. As he reached to the right he lost his footing and fell into the table, causing everyone to fall over themselves in laughter.
Finally Sirius sat up, whipping away the tears from the corners of his eyes “God, I’m going to piss my pants. I’ll be right back.”
Soon after he departed Frank, Sarah, Alice, and Nathan decided to go out and get some shopping done.
“So,” started Lily, “How’s everyone’s term going so far?”
“Dull,” said Emma, “I’m not getting this Defense against the Dark Arts crap. I know that N.E.W.T s students are required to learn a Patronus, but I can’t get anything other than that silvery stuff…”
Remus cocked an eyebrow and said with an amused smile, “It’s not too difficult. Just think about Sirius. I mean, he’s a happy thought, right?”
“True. I’ll try it.”
“Hey Remus,” said Lily, nodding to someone over his shoulder, “I think your girlfriend’s looking for you.”
He turned and saw Land standing at the doorway, her lank, blond hair framing her heart shaped face. When she spotted Remus she smiled, waved, and started to head over.
Remus turned back around and looked at James, who had one arm lying gracefully on the back of Lily’s chair. He was tipping his own chair back on two legs and eying Remus with a sardonic smile playing around his face.
“Hi guys,” she said, taking Frank’s empty seat.
They greeted her and began talking about the latest news.
Sirius walked out of the restroom, having fully relieved himself. He looked over and saw that Lana had joined them at the table. A lot of students were now trickling into the Three Broomsticks.
He looked out the frosty window and saw Regulus scurry by, his hand deep in his pockets and his chin tucked down to his chest to battle the increasing wind outside.
Sirius started to follow, but then looked back to the table his friends occupied. He watched as Lily and Lana threw back their head and laughed at something Emma had said. They wouldn’t miss him.
He flipped up his collar and then stalked out of the shop. He stayed about five hundred yards away and watched as Regulus walked to the other side of the village and slipped discreetly into the Hog’s Head. Sirius fought with himself for a moment and then followed.
He swung through he door in time to see that Regulus was the only customer and was talking intently with the barman. He looked vaguely familiar, but Sirius couldn’t quite place him. He was washing several scotch glasses in an extremely filthy water bucket.
“—explains why he doesn’t look human anymore. The process would cost the spell caster massive physical and emotional strai—,” they stopped at the sight of Sirius.
He took several awkward steps forward, “Hey fellas. I just fancied a drink. You don’t mind do ya?” He took a sear on the barstool next to Regulus, “You know…you left me hanging during our last conversation. I kind of want to finish it…Two butter beers please,” he added to the barman, sliding four sickles across the counter.
The old man cast him an irritable glare and then slid over two grimy bottles, and then busied himself with something in the back room.
Sirius took a sip from his drink and then looked at his brother, “You don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into.”
Regulus gave him an annoyed look, ‘When will you stop getting into my business. This doesn’t concern you.”
“Doesn’t concern me? Everyday the Daily Prophet brings more news of the crimes Voldemort and the Death Eaters are causing,” he paused and narrowed his eyes, “What you are causing. You, my brother who I grew up alongside with.
Regulus scowled, “God Sirius, it’s not that simple. You can’t walk out on the Dark Lord.”
“Well,” said Sirius impatiently, “What did you find out about him?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Last time I spoke to you…you mentioned that you found out something about him that could lead to his downfall.”
Regulus kept his face heavily guarded, “I’m still researching.”
“What are you looking for?”
Convinced that he wasn’t going to get anymore out of his brother, Sirius changed the subject back to its original topic, “I can’t believe that you’re doing this.”
“Don’t lecture me about morals, Sirius,” snapped Regulus, “You can go on living and spending time with your half-blood friends. Your half-blood girlfriend. That mudblood, Evans girl. But leave me alone.”
“Just because you’re pure blood doesn’t mean that you’re superior,” said Sirius coldly, “There’s nothing I can do to change that. But it doesn’t mean you can go around killing people who aren’t like you. It’s disgusting.”
“You know. There’s more to people than meets the eye. Don’t judge me by who I swear loyalty to, for it could be a completely different situation altogether. I think what I am doing is right. You don’t exactly have grounds to make an accusation because you don’t know the whole story.”
Sirius looked furious, “Then tell me the whole story.”
“Just know that I am more than you think I am. You and I, Sirius, are closer in personalities that you may think.”
“I’m not like you at all.”
“Maybe I’m more like you.”
I doubt it,” Sirius said as he stood up to leave, his face full of hatred, “I don’t kill people for the fun of it.”
He strode out of the pub and slammed the door behind him.
A/N I don't know if I ever told you guys...but all my Regulus scenes are based off the theory that he's RAB. I'm sorry if you don't agree with me, but I thought it'd be a nice twist to the plot. So, I hope that you all thought this chapter was almost up to par. If you left a review it would just make my day. Good? Bad? Cliche? Tell me!
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