Sort-of in Love
“I really didn't know what pleased me. I sort of had to figure all that out."
“What am I going to wear?” I shriek, throwing clothes from the chest at the foot of my bed.
Sitting on my bed, calm, cool, and collected (as my mother says seriously and my father says before he burst into laughter), is Meggie. She blows a bubble and pops it, swinging her legs. “What does it matter?” she asks slyly. “I thought you didn’t really like Remus anyways?”
I had told Lily and Meggie the plan, of course. I can’t keep things like this from my best friends! Maybe you’ve noticed, but I’m not the best at keeping secrets.
“I don’t,” I say in a DUH voice. “I just don’t want to show up on any date, no matter how fake it is, looking like the giant squid – or you without your makeup on, Meggie,” I add sweetly.
She throws a pillow at me with a mock gasp. “Fie, fie!” she calls, not very convincingly.
“Fie yourself,” I say, baring my teeth. “Just help me find something to wear!”
“Naahhhh, I don’t think so.” She smiles primly, a wicked look in her eyes.
Lily laughs at us and hops up from the window seat. “Here, I’ll help.”
“Thank you,” I say dramatically, shooting a pointed look at Meggie, who just smiles cheerily back. “And what’re you so happy about, if I may ask?”
“You may’n’t,” she replies with a smile. “Sorry!”
I stick out my tongue at her and look towards Lily, who’s rummaging through my trunk. “Here we go,” she says, and ten minutes later I’m outfitted in jeans and a loose, hoodless grey sweatshirt, hair done up in a nice ponytail, waiting in the Common Room for Remus to appear. I know I don’t really like him, but I still feel really anxious. And actually more than a bit guilty. To get back at Sirius for playing me, I’m playing someone else.
That seems just a bit screwed.
I hear footsteps from the boys’ dorm and look up, expecting Remus.
But it’s not; it’s the one-and-only Sirius Black.
“What d’you want?” I ask in a snappish voice as he sits next to me on the couch.
He shrugs. “To talk,” he says in a nonchalant voice, but his eyes are angry. “What, is that now a crime?”
“Maybe, when it’s you,” I snipe back, but my heart isn’t in it. Although I don’t like to admit it, even to myself, I hate seeing him angry – especially at me.
“Aria,” he says in a quieter, more gentle voice that makes me look at him in surprise. The tone is different than the one he normally used, and for just one second he sounds… unprotected. “I… I have to tell—”
But at that moment, Remus strides down the stairs. He smiles as he sees me and makes his way over. That’s one thing I like about Remus. He’s so sure of himself, and not in a haughty way either.
I stand, glancing at Sirius. His guard is back up, his eyes masked once more. “I’ll talk to you later, ’kay?” I tell him quietly.
“Whatever. It doesn’t matter,” he say coldly.
I shrug. “Alright, then.”
“Ready to go?” Remus asks.
I smile at him and nod. He offers his hand and I take it, and we walk out of the castle without a glance back.
But I can’t help from wondering what Sirius wanted to talk about. He’s one of the most confusing people I know – I’m not sure whether or not we’re friends. It’s too hard to tell, with him.
A few minutes later, Remus breaks the silence. “You look nice, Aria.”
I smile at him. “Thanks. You do too.” He does. He’s actually really handsome, as much so as Sirius or James, in a way. Sandy blond hair, dark brown eyes… Merlin, Meggie would absolutely kill me if she knew what I was thinking right now.
“Where’d you want to go?” he asks as we approach Hogsmeade.
“The Three Broomsticks sound good?” I ask.
He smiles. “Sounds perfect.”
I smile back. “A lot of smiling going on here,” I point out to break the silence.
He grins. “I guess so. Here we are, Aria – turn that way.”
I flush as I follow his instructions. I can’t believe I missed the turn. The stupid, bloody turn that I’ve missed very single time I’ve passed it. Every. Single. Time.
I get seated in one of the booths while Remus goes up to the counter to order us butterbeers. Maybe, despite my get-revenge-on-Sirius plan, I could still date Remus. Because, much to my own surprise, I do like him. Not extremely, but he’s a nice guy, and he seems interesting too. I’m not in love with him or anything, but then I doubt I actually will end up ever falling in love. Falling in love is for beautiful, graceful, lucky people: in other words, people who are the exact opposite of me.
“Thank you,” I say as Remus slides into the seat across from me, handing me a butterbeer across the table.
“So,” says Remus casually, “I’ve heard about you.”
“Oh?” I ask, taking a sip. “From who?”
“Sirius,” he says.
I choke. When I can breathe again, I ask for the sake of clarification, “Sirius Black?”
“The very same,” he agrees.
I snort. “Oh, I can imagine what he says about me…”
“No, nothing bad,” Remus hastens to assure me.
“Yeah, right. If you haven’t noticed, we’re not exactly the best of mates.”
He smiles at this. “I’ve noticed. But you’d be surprised, Aria. He really does admire you.”
I laugh a little too loudly, causing the people a few tables from us to crane their heads over to see. I glare at them until they drop their gazes.
“Anyway,” Remus shrugs, “it’s enough that you’ve been mentioned. Sirius hardly mentions girls anymore, not after… Well, he just doesn’t.”
“Not after what?” I ask curiously.
His eyes flicker to his hands. “I probably shouldn’t be telling you, but I feel like you’re someone I can trust. I can trust you, right?”
“Of course,” I agree firmly, though inside I’m shifting guilitily.
“Well, there was this girl Sirius fancied… I mean, he really fancied her, almost to the point of him being in love with her.” At this, I feel my stomach clench for some reason. It’s hard for me to imagine Sirius Black being in an honest relationship, much less actually loving his girlfriend. Especially after his obscure idea that we date! “And she… she followed him when he went outside for… for air one night. And a werewolf attacked her.” Here he clenches his hands into fists, glaring at them. His eyes are painfilled, and I can imagine why. If Sirius was, well, serious about this girl, Remus probably knew her too.
“What happened to her?” I whisper.
His voice is low, harsh. “She died.”
“Yeah.” He takes a breath and forces a smile. “So he hasn’t really mentioned a girl since then.”
“What, you don’t think…”
“I don’t know. He doesn’t trust me as much anym—as he trust James. But I don’t think so, otherwise I’d have gotten hell last night for going out with you.” His smile now is more natural.
I find myself relaxing – had I really cared whether or not Sirius fancied me? But of course he didn’t; we can hardly go a few minutes without fighting!
“I hear you play Quidditch?” asks Remus, taking a sip of butterbeer.
“Yeah, I’m the Seeker…”
The next couple hours pass like that, with us just talking about pretty much everything: us, our lives at school, our lives at home, our parents, Hogwarts, our teachers, our friends, classes, sports, ect, ect.
And by the end of it I’m thinking that maybe I actually do sort of love Remus.
Sorry for the long wait. Tally had many school things to be catching up on and her teachers were evil about homework. Eileen hopes to write the next chapter as soon as possible. =)