Chapter 22 : Belligerency
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Note: This story was written many years ago. As the author, I do not wish for you to think that my writing style is this sloppy or that I have no grasp on Mary-Sues or clichés. If I could go back and re-write this story and take out elements that some may find overdone, I would. Please plug through this if you find it somewhat interesting as I assure you that the actual writing gets better. Thanks!
Completely gorgeous chapter image by ladycobra at TDA. Thanks Ashley!
I didn't know what it was about me, but I just couldn't make up my mind. One minute, I'd be joking around with him. The next, I'd be kissing him with no warning whatsoever! Is he mad at me..? Did he like it..? Where will this lead..?
We both pulled away from each other hastily. I stood up really quickly just so I could hide my face. Was it as red as it felt? I hoped it wasn't because I felt like a red-hot poker.
Of course, James was laughing it up. Lily and Amber were looking at me with distorted faces, trying to analyze me. Not the first time. And Peter and Lauren Quintin were just staring at the whole lot of them, watching them do what they were doing. Remus was turning red. Angry? I thought that was it. At me? I didn't know. Probably. But he has no right to be!
I looked over at Sirius cautiously for a reaction. He had his eyebrows scrunched together in an adorable way... But he also had a conspicuous smile spread evenly across his face. That made me grin.
"What just happened?" Sirius asked, turning his attention from James to me.
I did not just kiss him. I did not just kiss him. I did not just kiss him... I repeated to myself in my head.
"It's about time, mate." James shook off his laughter, speaking directly toward Sirius. "Although, Kris is the one that did it. Congratulations, anyway."
"What just happened?" Sirius repeated, stricken.
"I mean, it's been-- what? Five years? Merlin... Half of a decade and you two finally decide to kiss."
"WHAT JUST HAPPENED?" Sirius said again excitedly, still surprised and happy as could be.
"The start of something very very awkward," James concluded, raising his eyebrows and speaking rapidly.
And he was right. 'Awkward' had a new, smaller meaning compared to the vibe given off by me being near Sirius Black.
Every time I looked in the mirror, I would see big hazel eyes staring back at me. I cut Sirius and my date short after the kiss, claiming I had to "check up on something." Truth be told, I was really nervous about what was going to happen after we talked about that kiss.
I was also very confused. Why had I kissed him? I guess I just wanted to see what a real kiss would be like with him. I got sick of waiting for perfection, for the "okay," FOREVER. I knew it was time, after the kiss, to pick things up. But that gut feeling I had, it was just weighing me down. I couldn't talk to Sirius. I couldn't look him in the eye. I couldn't help but notice the imaginary burns I got in the spot where his eyes were laying on me. I just couldn't since that trip. That kiss... That amazingly amazing kiss... New adjectives were in need here. But I couldn't think. All that I could think about was last Sunday, four days earlier.
As I walked to Potions class, I couldn't help but notice what was going on. Girls were staring at me, some were even glaring. I tried my best to ignore them, but it was difficult. Especially since some girls were even pointing at me, whispering to their friends about me. What the hell? I had no idea what I did. Girls will be girls... well, stupid girls, anyway.
As two girls were pointing and whispering about me, I got angry. Walking over to them, I prepared to speak in a false, sugary voice.
"Hey, what's up? Yeah. I'd appreciate it if you just got over whatever you're whispering to your little friend about. I know it's about me."
The two girls just raised their eyebrows in shock, and then they threw deadly glares at me through their piercing eyes. Hufflepuffs: They think they're all that and dozen chocolate frogs.
I continued onward to my destination, the Dungeons, for Potions. I told off more girls, and I thought that would make me late. I was lucky I got there just in time.
"Smooth move, Miss Lupin. Same seats as yesterday, please," Professor Slughorn advised. I groaned inwardly. It was always the same seats. I always get stuck next to Snivellus.
I could feel the burning of Sirius's glance on my back. It made me feel uncomfortable and irritated, but I learned to suck it up. This had been going on since Sunday.
"Good morning, class!"
"Good morning, Professor Slughorn," chorused the lot of us in a tired, exasperated tone. It was always the same thing over and over again.
"Today, we will be making a Memory Potion. You will be paired with whoever you are sitting next to. The ingredients and procedure is on page 407. This will take all hour, so... BEGIN!" Slughorn announced cheerfully. I don't see why he said "we will be" making the potion. He doesn't do anything but sit at his desk and pick his nose.
Snape looked at me as I looked at him with a questioning look. Was he in the mood to deal with me? Was I in the mood to deal with him?
He sat unblinkingly and looked at page 407. I just kept staring until I could get him to say something as an indication of his mood. He just stood up to get the ingredients that he had apparently just memorized.
I sighed, closing his stupid Potions book. It had tweaks to all of the potions, and different ways to make them. Faster ways. It annoyed me when I had to work with him because we would always waste time arguing over doing the potion the right way or the wrong way (his way).
I reached across the desktop for my book and opened it to the correct page number. Snape came back with the necessary ingredients in his arms, struggling to keep them from wildly crashing to the floor.
"Need my help?" I asked nicely.
He skimmed me, disgusted. "No."
Just then, he dropped a glass jar of crushed dragonfly wings. I folded my arms across my chest smugly. "Oh, really?"
"Shut up." Snape picked up the jar he had dropped after placing the ingredients onto our table.
As he was setting up, he snarled at me about closing his "more efficient book" and opening my "time consuming" instructions. As he was complaining at me, I zoned out and tuned into the conversation happening behind me. It was about me. More whispers.
"God. Just look at her. I hate her. What does Sirius see in her? He's so dreamy. And she's so... ugh. I can't find a good word."
"I'm closing your book. We're going to use mine," Snape demanded.
"Shh!" I hissed, scrunching my eyebrows and staring at the blackboard without seeing anything. He looked at me, confused, and then realized what was happening.
"I know. I hate her, too. Everyone does. Have you heard what some of the other girls have been saying?"
"Yeah, I have. The only reason Sirius likes her is because he feels sorry for her."
The fucking nerve of them! I could tell I was turning red from the heat in my face.
I tried ignoring the nasty comments. I figured that the word spread that Sirius and I finally kissed. It was the only explanation for the change of atmosphere at Hogwarts. And since every girl at Hogwarts had lost their heart to Sirius Black, all of them were jealous. All of them were vicious. And all of them were bitches. And all of them cared.
"They're talking about you, aren't they?" Snape smirked slightly. "The Princess is getting things spread around about her. Pity."
"Shut up. I'm not a princess. And I won't let you talk to me like that," I said angrily.
"No? You let them."
"Just shut the hell up. I don't care anymore. Let's just get this over with," I said exasperatedly. There was a tug at my stomach, and I wanted to outburst in a cry. Snape and nobody else knew anything about me. Nobody, not even Sirius.
"We're using my book," he stated for the final time.
At that point, nothing really mattered to me anymore. "Whatever."
I supported my head by placing my chin in my hand. Staring off into space, I wanted to fall asleep. Or wake up. Was I dreaming? Or was this reality? My head was beginning to hurt.
"You must work," Snape groaned.
"I don't feel well," I lied.
"You were fine a couple of minutes ago," he cocked an eyebrow. "Oh... are you... are you having 'women problems'?"
I shot my head toward his direction and glared. "No."
"Then what is it?"
"Why the fuck do you even care?" I inquired blankly.
"I don't. It just helps to talk sometimes."
I rolled my eyes out of habit. I quickly mumbled, "Whatever."
Snape stood there, looking down his large nose at me. Then, he continued to work on our potion.
"So why do you dress... different from your stupid friends?" Snape asked me at random.
I turned to him. "We are all wearing Gryffindor uniforms."
"You know what I mean."
"I just... don't like pretending. Why where yellow when I don't feel like being yellow?" I couldn't believe I was talking to this arse hole about something I had never talked to anyone about.
"Yeah right. You're pretending. You're a fake. You're not really depressed--"
"Look, I'm not pretending, okay? I told you once before. You don't know what goes on in my life. So stop talking about things you don't know anything about, got it?" And who said you had to be depressed to appreciate dark clothes? It was slimming to wear black, right? Yeah.
"...Okay." He dropped something liquid into the potion.
"Hey, when's the next Quidditch game?" I asked, since he was on the Slytherin Quidditch Team and would know.
"I don't know. And I don't give a damn about sports, either."
"You're on the team," I stated dully.
"I quit. It was stupid of me to even try out. You got your revenge, I got mine, and you got yours again and again and again. I'm sick of it. I had to quit," he let out and shrugged.
I had to admit that I felt a bit bad for him, and what we did to him was a bit harsh. But I didn't regret it....
"I need chocolate..." I mumbled to myself in defeat.
"What the bloody hell could they be talking about?" I asked James.
"KRIS AND SNIVELLY!" I sighed, annoyed at them being paired together. She wouldn't talk to me or look at me. Did I do something wrong?
"Oh. Nothing special, I reckon," James shrugged.
"I have to talk to her."
"Then do it."
"She won't even look at me, Prongs. Merlin-knows-why. How would I get her alone to talk to her?" I asked quizzically.
"James, we're out of mayfly torsos. Can we borrow some of your ingredients?" Lily asked from a table close by.
"Sure, no problem. Just give it back when you've finished. We haven't gotten that far yet."
Lily smiled. "Okay."
Once Lily was out of hearing range, Prongs whispered, "She's so into me."
I rolled my eyes at him and shoved his shoulder with a stupid grin. "Back to my problem, please?"
"Okay, fine. It's always you, you, you. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it myself, but--"
"Please. You're so dense," I rolled my eyes jokingly.
"You would know," James stated simply.
"Ha-ha-ha, I'm rolling on the floor," I said sarcastically, glancing over at Kris and Snape, who were in the middle of a conversation. She looked pissed off. "What's he doing to her? I'll kill him."
"What's with you and stupidity? Don't expect me to answer that question. You need to talk to her, mate."
"I will, just... not now. Maybe after class... Or in ten years. You know, whichever is easier for me."
"You're talking to her after class. I'm making you," James smiled evilly. "Because I'm sick of your whining, Padfoot."
He was just kidding, and I knew that. But I was kind of whining, wasn't I? I didn't mean to. Whenever it was about Kris, I got like that.
"Fine. Let's change the subject, then."
James stared at me expectantly while brewing the potion. Professor Slughorn was walking around, making sure everyone's potion color was in terms. It was supposed to be a gold-orange, so I was glad to see ours was a mix between orange and bronze.
"How thick is the potion supposed to be?" James asked hurriedly. I skimmed the page for the answer to his question before Slughorn got to us.
"It should feel like you're 'mixing liquid metal,' but I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. D'you?"
"I guess it means it's supposed to be thin, but not so thin as to be watery..." James concluded with a writhed expression on his face.
"Okay... Well, is ours good, then?" I sighed, leaning down to look inside our cauldron.
"Yep. All we need to do is add a few more things, mix, and we're done. It should become more gold once the dragon scale is added."
"I didn't know you knew so much about Potions," I said incredulously.
"I don't," James snapped in an obvious manner. "I'm reading from the book, genius."
"Wait, this is better than I thought. You can read? I guess we all learn something new every day, right?"
James let out a laugh, stupid, but Kris looked back at us and smiled.
"Mr. Potter, Mr. Black, quite enough of that, don't you think? How is your potion coming along? I expect you to be done in fifteen minutes, no later. So I suggest you get moving," Professor Slughorn cautioned, peering into our cauldron. He was surprised to see an elegant shade of the correct color and moved along to Lily and Amber's table. Poor Kris was late for one class in the beginning of the year, and she got stuck with a bastard as a partner until summertime.
While his back was turned, I wanted to flash Slughorn the middle finger, but I refrained from doing so.
"So, Prongsie, Kris and I were talking about it, and... Well, we need to make Christmas vacation plans."
"Oh, did she want to come over to the mansion for vacation?" James asked, interested. James's house was not literally considered a mansion, but being a pure-blood and wealthy enough, his house was insanely huge.
"Umm... That wasn't really her exact words."
"What were her 'exact words' then?" James sat down, leading me to do the same. He grabbed a glass container to scoop some potion into for grading.
"Well, mate... I kind of -- er... I want to go to her house and meet her dad. Things might get serious soon."
"Okay... Well, I guess that's alright. We can still hang out and stuff. You two can always come over to be idiots with Wormtail, Moony, Lily, Amber, and I," James shrugged casually.
"You're not mad?" I asked, amazed. "And you're having the whole gang at your house over vacation?"
"Nope, I'm not mad. I sort of saw it coming; I was just kind of waiting for you or Kris to say something. And uh, no," James laughed. "I was just kidding. Moony might be staying with Amber. She's waiting for a reply from her dad, but I doubt he will let a boy stay over. And Lily is going home to her parents and sister. I know for sure that Peter is staying at his house. It turned out Lauren only said yes to going to Hogsmeade with him because she had no date and didn't want to turn him down. So, really, they will all be visiting me basically twenty-four seven. It'll be like they're staying with me."
"How is it that I'm just finding this out?" I asked loudly.
"You were there when we all talked about it. Well, sort of..." James drifted. "Your body was there, but your mind wasn't."
That was true. I had been too wrapped up in thinking about Kris. If I had to spend any more time away from her, I would have screamed at the top of my lungs. James didn't have to make me talk to her. I was going to, anyway.
"I'm going to go hand this in," James said, addressing the flask of newly-made Memory Potion.
Glancing over at Kris, I saw that she was talking to Snape again. I must've had a Snape-Is-Talking-To-Kris detector in the back of my brain because every time I looked over there, they were chatting nonchalantly.
"Who wrote all of this stuff in your book, anyway?" I asked casually about Snape's fucked up Potions book.
"That would be none of your business," he responded snootily.
I rolled my eyes. "Fine."
"You know, I don't like talking to people. People are stupid. All the things they have to say are either pointless or false. You're the only person I actually talk to."
Why was he telling me this?
"Erm... thanks? Does that make me intelligent then?" I chuckled lightly.
"No, it just means that you don't have anything dumb or idiotic to say. I'm surprised your stupid friends haven't rubbed off on you," Snape retorted in a seething manner.
"My friends aren't stupid. You just don't know them."
"Who's fault is that?" Snape said sourly. "I never did or said anything to any of them. They just targeted me."
He sure knows how to make a person feel bad for something they didn't do, I referred to myself.
I looked at our potion. It was perfect, and it was perfect because of Severus. I didn't touch any of the ingredients. This made me feel slightly terrible.
As he reached for a clear flask to put a sample of our potion in, I stopped him.
"I'll do it. I didn't do anything, you made it. Let me do something. I'll feel bad if I don't."
He looked at me curiously but agreed to let me mark our names on the empty glass tube and fill it up. "Fine."
As I handed the flask to Professor Slughorn, he smiled brightly. "Very nice, Miss Lupin! Mr. Snape!"
I looked over at Severus, and he just shrugged and sat down. His long, greasy black hair fell into his face as he opened his notebook to jot some notes down.
"Thank you, Sir," I responded kindly after turning back to him. He nodded happily as I walked back to my seat.
Once again, I felt someone's eyes on me the whole time. I was used to the feeling, and I was pretty sure it wouldn't make me paranoid. The bell rang, and I was finally free to get away from Sirius's glimpse.
I ran into the hallway of the Dungeons with girls shouting at me to "watch it," but I didn't care if I knocked anyone over. If they were so concerned, then maybe they should be the ones "watching it."
"Kris!" I heard a female voice shout after me. I stopped running and twirled around slowly. I raised my eyebrows as Lily and Amber came running after me, out of breath.
"Why the heck were you r-running?" Amber choked, leaning on my shoulder in order to catch her breath.
"I don't want to talk to Sirius," I explained daintily.
"Is this about that kiss?" Lily sighed in annoyance. "You can't avoid him forever, Kris."
"I can if I put my mind to it," I grinned sheepishly.
"This whole situation is pointless. If you would just open your eyes then you would see that," Lily said as I started walking to the Common Room. Girls were giving all three of us dirty looks, so we gave them our group glare, along with my special gesture. Said gesture involved my left hand and a certain finger.
"I understand that it's pointless," I said honestly. "But he probably thinks I'm a loser for avoiding him now."
"Yeah right! He doesn't think that," Amber laughed. "Sirius told James, who told Remus, who told me, that Sirius was pleased with that unexpected smooch you gave him." She made a kissy noise with her mouth.
"He said that he liked it?" I asked, surprised.
"Yeah. Why wouldn't he be pleased? He's liked you forever. He got to spend all day with you, and it ended suddenly, but pleasantly."
"So, he did like it, then. Ha, wow, this is great!" I exclaimed with a beam.
"Why?" Lily inserted.
"Because I enjoyed myself, too." I bit my lip, waiting for my friends' reaction.
"Eeeek! Details. Now."
I sat several hours later in the Great Hall next to Remus and Peter, eating a delicious dinner. I hadn't spoken to Sirius in the elapsed time because I was waiting for him to approach me. Really, after four days, you would think he would have the temerity to grab my arm and pull me away from a crowd.
"Kris, do you like Snivellus or something?" James asked, earning an elbow to the ribs from Lily. "Oww."
"James, don't be an idiot, okay? He's nothing more than a Potions class partner. He's getting more and more civil these days, though."
I could tell that Sirius had wanted James to ask that question for him. He had his face down with his eyes on his mashed potatoes, clearly trying to resist making eye contact with anyone who knew this.
"Excuse me, but I think I'm full. I'm going to go head upstairs to work on the Charms assignment," I said, standing up. I was half expecting Sirius to yell out, "WAIT!" but that never happened. So, I waved good-bye to everyone and accepted the whispers and fingers being pointed at me from various tables.
When I was halfway up the stairs, I heard my name being called by a deep, smooth voice from below.
At first, I smiled because I thought that Sirius had finally come to his senses. But it wasn't Sirius's voice I had heard. It was an equivalent one. It belonged to his brother, Regulus.
"Oh. What do you want?" I sighed. He climbed the stairs until he reached the one I was standing on.
"I just want to know what's going on. My filthy brother is treated like royalty at this idiotic school, and that would make you royalty, too, would it not?" Regulus said loathingly.
"Not you, too," I groaned with a roll of my eyes. "Leave me alone, Regulus."
He smirked. "Such a silly one, you are, Lupin. Do you need me to help you out with that hate mail? Or maybe trash the dead bodies that you come across in your journey of survival? It really is a jungle out there--"
"Get the hell away! I don't want you near me; you're an annoying prick!" I scowled, continuing up the stairs.
"Aww, why, you're no fun at all. Very serious person. I'll have to remember that if I'm looking for someone to do business with--"
"LEAVE HER ALONE!" Sirius yelled from the bottom of the stairs.
"I don't think this conversation concerns you, traitor," Regulus scoffed, rolling his eyes.
"I beg to differ." Sirius folded his arms across his chest.
"Whatever. Lupin, when you're sick of him, I'm always free," Regulus said as he wandered downstairs toward the Dungeons. Slick.
"My hero!" I gasped, pointing at Sirius jokingly.
"Come down here," Sirius demanded.
I felt my legs move toward him. "Okay..."
When I got down there, I looked up into his eyes and he kissed me.
"Did you like that? Answer truthfully," Sirius said with a glint in his eyes.
"Did you like the kiss you gave me?"
"Did you avoid me because you thought I didn't feel the same way?"
"Yes," I said for the last time.
"You're naive... in a cute way," Sirius smiled giddily.
"You think I'm cute?" I smiled innocently.
"Yes. When you're not flipping people off, you're quite attractive," Sirius said smugly.
"I see... So, you like the school girl type? I don't think I can please you," I joked.
"I think the opposite of that," Sirius said flirtatiously. "Why do you think I followed you out of dinner?"
"Yeah, about that," I said, wagging my finger in his face. "For a few minutes, I thought you weren't going to follow me."
"I'd follow you anywhere."
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