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Chapter 24 : Never Saw the Need
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"What are you sulking about for, Kris? Cheer up. You were happier before breakfast," Remus pointed out blandly. I looked at him while ignoring Professor McGonagall's teaching of Transfigurations.
"Well excuse me for not being as chipper as I was before, Moony, but honestly! Cheer up? How can I 'cheer up' when our world is in danger and taking precau--" I stopped speaking as I felt McGonagall's piercing eyes on the side of my face. Turning to look at her, I gulped and smiled nervously.
"Are you quite done, Miss Lupin? I'm sure whatever you're discussing is of much higher interest than what I have to say, but I can assure you that anything Mr. Lupin has to say while disrupting my class is far less important than what I have to say! Keep your eyes up front. No talking."
I sat up straight and cleared my throat softly. "Sorry, Profess--"
"Shh!" hushed Professor McGonagall angrily.
I just nodded stupidly, waiting for her to begin reviewing again. Lately, all of the teachers have been reviewing because they would all be giving a test before vacation ended. That gave us all one day left to study.
I sat there, jotting notes down, when someone from behind kicked my chair. I knew who was sitting in the table behind me; it was Sirius. I could feel his hot breath from laughter on the back of my neck. He thought it was funny that I got into trouble? What a nice boyfriend.
"Kris," Sirius whispered, barely audible. When I ignored him, he threw a crumpled piece of parchment at the back of my head. "Pssst!"
I slammed my quill down really hard on the table and turned around. I flashed Sirius the finger with the angriest look on my face. Turning around to continue taking notes and listening to his and James's laughter, I groaned inwardly.
Professor McGonagall sure did know when her class was being disrupted, didn't she?
"Miss Lupin, you have interfered with the learning of others who actually want to be here for the last time. Go out in the hallway and cool down," McGonagall spat in frustration.
"Oh, please, nobody wants to be here..." I said to her with that gloomy look on my face still. Standing up before she could convulse, I rushed to the door with the whole class laughing at my remark.
"Ten points from Gryffindor for Miss Lupin's serious attitude problem!" McGonagall said hotly. "Class dismissed. Study tonight. Good day!"
I was quite thankful that class had ended. I was in the mood to cool off, actually. Since I would go to lunch after Transfigurations, I was feeling better already.
Retreating back to my desk to gather my books, I caught Sirius's now timid glance. "Sorry," he mouthed. I just shrugged with a sigh.
"Miss Lupin, may I see you up front for a moment?" I turned around and saw Professor McGonagall and whined inside my head. I am so not in the mood for a chat with her right now...
Nodding, I walked up to her desk. "What is it, Professor?"
The truth was: I knew what she wanted. She wanted to ask me what was wrong. Well, I wasn't going to tell her. It was too obvious to not know.
"Are you all right? Is everything at home going well?" she asked, getting straight to the point.
No. "Of course."
"Have you been getting enough sleep?"
"Are you eating right?" she inquired, raising an eyebrow.
What's with the twenty questions? "I'm eating very well."
"I have failed to unmask the problem, then, Miss Lupin. If there is no problem, and you have your life in control, then why are you acting up in my class?" McGonagall asked. Concern was strewn across her face.
"I've acted up before, Professor," I indicated sharply.
"You have never shown direct disrespect to me or the class that I teach," she snapped. "Perhaps you would like to speak to Madam Posey? She helps people at Hogwarts out with problems that remain confidential."
I kept myself from laughing. Posey? Ring around the rosy, pocket full of POSEY, ashes, ashes, we all fall down...
"Not to be rude or anything, but I don't really think I need a counselor," I stated, growing hot with anger.
"All right then, if you insist. No more acting up?" she questioned with an arch in her right eyebrow.
I nodded slowly, careful not to look her in the eye.
"All right then. Everything's settled, you may go now."
"Thanks," I mumbled, heading to the Great Hall lamely.
"And Miss Lupin?" McGonagall called skeptically before I reached the door. I turned around, raising my eyebrows in surprise.
"Here," she said, jotting something down on a tiny scrap piece of parchment. "Just in case you change your mind."
I looked down at the paper with befuddled expression lying on my face.
Room Number 429
"Professor," I started, "I don't think you understand how okay I am. I'm just having a bad day, that's all. I'm sorry for talking back and disrupting your class, but a bad mood is a bad mood. I can't change until I'm out of it, so will you please... I mean..." There was no point in arguing anymore. She gave me the slip, told me I should use it, and now, she would send me away merrily. Rubbish, all of it.
"I see... At least you made the definition of bad mood clear. You may go," she said with a gentle smile.
I felt the corner of my lips tug upward slightly, forming a small smile. "Good day."
I was still angry, you can count on that. She thought I needed to see Madam Posey to go pick some flowers and sing a song? No, sorry. That was not going to happen.
I checked the clock. "Great, I'm late for lunch. This is a happy day."
As I passed through the halls, I breathed deeply. Finding my way to the Great Hall, I spotted the gang.
I plopped my messenger bag down and shoved the slip that McGonagall gave to me onto the table. Sirius grabbed it.
He read it with a confused look on his face. "What's this?"
Before I could answer, Lily said, "Let me see."
Reading it over, her mouth fell slightly agape and her face eased up. We all looked at her expectantly.
"Well..?" I asked, sitting down.
"This is Hogwarts's counselor, isn't it?" inquired Lily cleverly.
"You know what I think? I think you should go see her. McGonagall gave this to you, didn't she? I recognize the writing. Talking to Madam Posey couldn't hurt. You do seem kind of troubled, Kris," Lily stated casually, slurping a spoonful of her soup.
Remus glanced in my direction knowingly. I wasn't really paying attention to that, though. I was busy figuring out how to let my rage out as gently as possible. That was an oxymoron.
"What? Lily, how can you say that? I don't need a counselor! That's preposterous! Everything's fine. It's just a bad day." I got everything off of my chest. And by that point, I felt incredibly stupid. I had just proved her point.
"Kris, calm down," Sirius shushed, rubbing my shoulder. Lily looked sorry and slightly hurt.
"Sorry, Lily... I didn't mean to yell at you. I need to learn how to control my anger," I said sternly.
"Kris, I kind of agree with Lily. It's not just a bad day, and you know it," Amber reported.
I chuckled, still in a pissed off mood. "You would know."
She looked taken aback. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"Kris, come on. Stop being catty. We all know you know how to be. We're all upset about You-Know-Who, but there's obviously more than that on your mind. Now, if Lily, Amber, and I all think the same thing then is it so insane to say that you're taking this way too far?" Remus said loudly, breaking up the argument before it started. I felt slightly ashamed.
"Remus, can I talk to you alone for a minute?" I asked while everyone went dead silent. The whole student body was looking at us.
Remus nodded after an icy pause. "Sure," he whispered.
I brushed passed him and waited outside the great oak doors of the Great Hall.
"What's her problem?" Amber asked in frustration as Kris waited outside the Great Hall for me.
"I'm about to find out," I sighed. "Amber, do you know what she was talking about when she said 'you would know'?"
Amber froze. "Isn't it obvious?" Her voice quivered.
"Erm..." I was thinking. After an extended pause, I understood. "Oh, that."
I walked over to Amber and kissed her cheek, giving her a gentle squeeze on the shoulders. "I'll be right back."
"Don't forget to tell her to eat!" Sirius shouted as I was halfway to Kris. "Lunch is ending soon," he shrugged.
"I won't," I retorted. When I reached Kris, she had her arms folded across her chest with a pout on her face. "Kris, what was that?"
"I--" She started, but I cut her off.
"You know that Amber is sensitive when it comes to the topic of what happened to her and the day I kissed Lana! Why'd you bring it up?" I exploded, losing control.
"She was agreeing with Lily! I'm mad, hungry, tired, cold, and I really need this vacation. Not to mention that I'm completely stressed about my Father meeting Sirius! Come on, Remus. You know my Dad. He's not the friendliest fellow," Kris said all in one breath. I was shocked. I didn't know that she had such a burden to carry. And I didn't know how to respond to that. But I did know someone that knew how.
"You can talk to a counselor about these types of things, you know," I said quietly, feeling small. I was ready for her to attack again.
"I'm well aware," she huffed. "But honestly, Moony. Look me in the eye and tell me that it's a good idea to tell a stranger my personal thoughts and plans, and even problems -- my non-existent problems."
I looked her sternly in the eye. "It's a good idea. Everyone has problems, Kris. Plus, you don't have to go more than once. It's just a casual one-time meeting. You might like to get some of these things off your chest."
She immediately looked away to the side. After a moment, she nodded and turned back to me. "Fine. Let's go eat."
I smiled slightly and grabbed her arm softly and kissed the top of her head. "Kris, everything's okay. Nothing's changing. Your dad will adjust to Sirius, and just because You-Know-Who has been sighted, that doesn't mean the world is going to explode."
"Okay, back. Sorry," I said. "Amber, sorry that I, er, brought up you-know-what."
She nodded, seeming to be in deep thought while she ripped a piece of bread off and put it in her mouth.
"So, what does everybody want for Christmas?" James asked, changing the subject smoothly. "I want a new broom."
"Yeah, Prongs. And I want a pony," Lily rolled her eyes. "Brooms are expensive these days."
"So? I can afford it," James grinned cockily.
"Ugh! That doesn't mean you should get one! You don't even need a new one. There are just some things about you that I can't stand." Lily dropped her spoon, making her soup bowl clank.
"Oh yeah? Well--" James was cut off by Amber.
"Remus, can I have a word?"
Remus looked up stupidly. "Huh--? Oh, yes. Of course." For the second time, he got up from his Lunch to go talk in the Entrance Hall, looking back at his barely-touched plate in a casual despair.
"I wonder what that could be about..." I thought aloud, making everyone shrug quietly. Everyone except James, who had a confused and lost look on his face.
Professor Mullen was exceptionally boring in Defense Against the Dark Arts class, the last class of mine for the day. I was so thankful. I needed to go talk to Remus about what happened in Lunch with Amber.
"Once you've finished reading, do questions one through fifteen on the next page. There will be a quiz tomorrow on this material," Mullen said, his voice croaking. As if on cue, the bell rang, signaling freedom. Actually, it wouldn't be freedom because of all the homework that needed to be done. Grr...
"Remus!" I yelled as Sirius surprised me. He put his arm around me, making me jump. "Geez, don't scare me like that!"
"Who else would put his arm around you?" Sirius chuckled. "Unless we're talking about a girl. If that were the case then you would be a lesbian, which I am most uncomfortable with, considering you are dating me."
I narrowed my eyes slightly at his twisted thoughts. Stomping on his left foot, I said, "How did you know?"
"I see how it is," Sirius said, releasing me from his clutch to put his hands up in the air. I rolled my eyes and yelled for Remus again. He was heading out the door without waiting for me?
"Remus, wait for me! Merlin," I mumbled. Remus turned around after murmuring something to himself.
"Sorry, didn't hear you."
"I was yelling; get your ears checked," I said, looking up at him. I licked my finger and put it up to his ear. He shrieked like a little girl.
"AHH! NO! NOT THE WET WILLY!" he screamed, grabbing my wrist to keep my finger away from his head. "OKAY! I HEARD YOU! I WAS JUST IGNORING YOU!"
I laughed. "Okay, give me my arm back now."
"Right, sorry," he said, releasing my arm cautiously.
"Are you flirting with my girl, Lupin?" Sirius asked Remus jokingly.
"Eww, Padfoot. He's my cousin, you sick-o," I said, kissing Sirius's cheek. He beamed.
"HEY SIRIUS!" James shouted from the other side of the hallway. "COME HERE!"
Sirius nodded and bent over to peck my lips before departure. "Coming!"
"Only Sirius would think such thoughts," I said with a shrug. "Remus, I need to talk to you."
"I know," Remus said, looking down. "But I know what you want, and I don't want to tell you because I really think that Amber wants this information between her and me. Sorry."
"But--" I argued.
"I promised her I wouldn't tell anyone, not even you," Remus said roughly. "Please understand. I really like Amber. I want her to know she can trust me."
I nodded. "Okay. Fine. I'm going to go see Madam Posey. Damn, every time I say her name, I want to run around a pole singing 'Ring Around the Rosy' over and over. Anyway... Tell everyone where I am."
Remus chuckled with a nod and a wave. "Will do, see you soon. Don't worry, don't be nervous. I hope it helps."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. See you."
I took a deep breath and felt light-headed all of a sudden. I walked up to the fourth floor nervously, unaware of what the future held. Once I made it to the fourth floor, I made a right. It was then that I spotted a door with a bronze number upon it. 429.
I opened the door and listened as it creaked eerily. Okay, so I was alone and nervous. It sounded eerie to me, all right?
Disclosing the contents of the room behind the door with a booming heart rate was not one of my favorite moments, but I was relieved at what I saw. A room of dark green walls and wooden floorboards embraced me. I gazed all over the place as I walked over to one of the many seats and touched it. She wasn't in the room, so I was about to sit down when I heard the door that I used to enter the room open again.
I turned around and saw Severus Snape.
He stopped in his tracks when he noted my presence. "Uck. What are you doing here, Lupin?" he spat in confusion.
"Selling girl scout cookies," I replied sarcastically. "What do you think I'm doing here? I -- Wait, what are you doing here?"
"None of your business," he replied harshly. Well then. Someone was sensitive that night.
He nodded when a short woman with light brown hair and dark brown eyes appeared through a door in the room. Her office, I assumed.
"Mr. Snape?" she called, not noticing me. She looked up as Snape got out of his seat. "Oh, my. Who are you, dear?"
"Erm, sorry, I should've made an appointment or something, right? I'll just go--"
"Oh, are you Kristin Lupin? Professor McGonagall told me you might be visiting sometime. I should have known. If you don't mind waiting, you're very welcome to stay, but Severus and I have a meeting."
Since I didn't even want to be there, I was skeptical. "Erm, how long would I be waiting for?"
"Around forty-five minutes, that's all," she smiled forcefully.
"Well, I kind of had this thing that I needed to get to later--" I started hesitantly while lying.
"She can go before me," Snape mumbled quietly. "I don't have to be anywhere or anything."
"That was very kind of you, Severus. Miss Lupin? How about we do that?" Madam Posey said warmly.
I was so confused. Why would he do that? Gosh, now I feel bad for lying, too. "All right. I can do that."
"Follow me," she said, walking into her office. I followed her and as I passed Severus, I stared and blinked a quick thank you. "If you will, take a seat please."
I nodded and sat down in one of the cushion-y chairs on the other side of her desk. I laughed at what I was about to say. "No black leather couch that you always hear about?"
"Not quite," she chuckled. "So tell me, Miss Lupin. Why are you here visiting me?"
"To be honest with you..." I sighed uncomfortably. "...I don't really know. When Professor McGonagall suggested it, I was surprised. I didn't think counseling was necessary, but when my friends agreed, I decided after a disagreement that it wouldn't be too bad to come here."
She nodded slowly. "I see. Well, what's new in your life, Kristin?"
"Can you go back to calling me 'Miss Lupin'? I despise my whole name. Or you can call me Kris."
"Sure, Kris. What's new in your life?" Madam Posey asked politely and softly.
Her kind nature was making me adjust to the comfort of talking with her. "Well, nothing really. I have a few tests tomorrow..?"
"Is that all?" she asked calmly and knowingly.
"Er... no. See, my cousin, Remus Lupin, is my best friend's boyfriend. Something happened to Amber, Remus's girlfriend, last month. I don't know what, and she won't tell us. She told Remus today, and he wouldn't tell me."
"Oh," she said warmly, compassion in her eyes. "Continue, please."
"Well, we've all had our suspicions. I think it has something to do with Professor Wilson dying. Recently after the Burial, she came to the Common Room in tears. She's told Remus why and no one else," I stated, my eyes turning the light shade of blue. There were no mirrors, but somehow, I just knew they were blue. It was a strange sensation tingling all over my body like raindrops on my skin and gray rain clouds looming over my head.
I figured I was imagining it all and shrugged the feeling off.
"And why would you like to know what happened so badly?" Posey inquired.
"Er, she's my best friend?" I asked, testing whether or not that was an acceptable answer.
"Yes, exactly. If she's your best friend, she will tell you when she feels she is ready and comfortable with it. To her, maybe telling one person is a test to see how well she would be able to handle it if she told everyone she knew," Madam Posey explained.
I nodded to show my understanding.
"So, are we clear on that?" she asked before moving on.
"Yes," I responded confidently. When she's ready, she'll tell me...
"Is there anything you'd like to add?" Madam Posey smiled.
I shook my head.
"Okay. Are you excited for the Holidays, Kris?" she said, lacing her fingers together.
"No learning. Good deal." I raised my eyebrows. She stayed as energetic as before, shown through her smile again.
"Yes, I suppose that's what most students would say," she said. "What do you plan on getting your parents for Christmas?"
"I plan on getting my Dad some new robes and some books on cooking. His food is pretty blah," I chuckled.
"Lovely! And your Mother?" she grinned.
I felt a pang in my chest tug at my heart. "Oh. I uh, I don't know my Mum."
I caught a glint in her eye, one that said she thought we were getting somewhere in this conversation. "I'm sorry. Do you want to talk about it?"
I shook my head. "There's nothing to say. She... left. That's it. I never even knew her favorite color or what she smelled like. In my opinion, I never even had a Mother."
"Does your Father make up for her absence?"
"He tries. He sure does punish me the way two parents would," I shrugged.
"What do you mean?" she asked in high interest.
I shouldn't have said that... "Oh, just that he sometimes grounds me for, like, two months if I don't take the trash out," I lied with a chuckle.
"Oh," she giggled. "Better remember to do your chores, then, hmm?"
I let out a nervous laugh and nodded. Right...
It was Friday afternoon and I still hadn't received a response from my Father giving Sirius permission to stay at our house.
The smell of fire whiskey made my nostrils flare, along with the body odor of many dancing Gryffindors partying in the Common Room. The last day of classes ended. James and Sirius threw a party. I was sitting lazily on the couch awaiting my letter while everyone else was drinking and having fun.
"Kris, have a Butterbeer. We raided the kitchens earlier," James snickered as he handed me a mug.
"I'm not thirsty," I refused, placing the Butterbeer on the table in front of me.
Sirius plopped down next to me. "How can you not be thirsty? What's wrong? This is a party! We planned it so that everyone could enjoy it, not just us animals."
"I know this is a party. I'm not entirely stupid. Nothing is wrong. Now go have fun!" I smiled softly.
"You're not stupid at all." Sirius wrapped his arm around my shoulder. "Now tell me what's wrong."
"What about him?" He shook his head while licking his lips. James had gone off to flirt with Lily.
"He hasn't written back yet," I whined, sinking into my seat. "What if you can't come?"
"Then I'll just follow you home as a dog," Sirius grinned, making me smile at how cute he sounded. Then I got a hold of myself and sighed.
"That's sweet, but it wouldn't work. My Father hates dogs because mostly Muggles own them," I explained. My Father had nothing against Muggles or anything, but he sure had his ways of being strict and differentiating things.
Sirius laughed. "So a no to that idea? Fine. Oh, I never got to ask you how your little meeting with Madam Posey went." Sirius took a gulp of fire whiskey. I grimaced.
"It went fine. Do you have to drink that in front of me? You know I want some."
"Then I'll go get you one." He rose from his seat, but I stopped him.
"I meant to say that you know I want one, but I... don't... want one..." I laughed. "It's confusing."
"My head hurts just listening to you say it, let alone attempting to comprehend it." Sirius sat back down.
"I'm going to laugh when you get a hangover tomorrow and puke all over my Dad." I smiled just thinking of that happening.
"And when you laugh, I'll turn to you and spew all over you! What do you have to say now?" Sirius said jokingly.
"I say--" I took the fire whiskey out of his hand.
"--that you shouldn't drink anymore of this tonight. Switch to water." I conjured up a glass and turned his whiskey into water. His face was turning unique shades of red and purple. It was a happy moment.
"I swear, if you weren't a girl, I would hex you into nowhere-ness," Sirius pouted.
"You mean nothing-ness?" I laughed. "Someone's off their rocker."
"Ha-ha-ha. Very funn--" Sirius was interrupted by a piercing screech in the air.
"James! STOP! You're going to get yourself in trouble!" Lily shouted. James was dropping dung bombs out of the window and occasionally levitating them into the lake.
"So?" James laughed, cheering himself on along with everyone else.
"This is what I meant yesterday at lunch!" Lily cried, shaking her head angrily. "I don't like some things about you! You're too indifferent about rules and considerations. Plus, the way you pick on innocent people is just vile! You are stuck-up and overly insensitive and will probably disregard this whole conversation!"
James had fire in his eyes. "WHAT?!" James yelled over the music. He backed away from the window to face Lily. "Is that what you think?"
I looked at Sirius, who immediately went over to James to keep him from saying anything stupid. Like that will stop him...
"Yes! That's exactly what I think!" Lily said confidently.
"Well you know what I think?!" James asked rhetorically. "I think you are an overly sensitive controlling Know-It-All!"
Sirius stopped in his tracks and slapped his forehead at James's stupidity while partially drunk.
"I can't believe you just said that!" Lily said in shock. All that she's ever heard from James is nice things and flirtatiousness. Lily walked up to him and slapped his face. Hard. Then, she grimaced and wrinkled her nose.
"Go take a shower, Potter! You'll need to wash the stench of dung bomb off of you," she said, walking away to her dorm. I was about to go get her when an owl flew into the open window.
"Yeah! Well..! Go snog a loser, Evans! You and Snivellus would go on well!" James retorted with his eyebrows raised.
"Oh, you're funny!" Lily screamed in sarcasm.
The owl landed on my shoulder as I stood there in shock. It nipped at my ear, so I grabbed the parchment from its leg. "At least my Dad wrote back." I wasn't as excited as I could have been because of what I just witnessed. After I read the letter, I would go find Lily with Amber.
I quickly opened the letter as the owl flew away, probably back to the Owlry. I was sad when all that my Father wrote was the word "fine" and his name. I rolled my eyes, and then I went over to Sirius. I showed him the note and he nodded with a smile.
I needed to tell Sirius something, but I knew he wouldn't like it. Eh, I'll tell him on the train tomorrow morning.
After listening to Lily's soft cries during the night, I wasn't in the mood to wake up. I knew it was time to go home for the Holidays, and believe me, I wanted to go. But I was also entitled at least five hours of sleep. I guess I'm sleeping on the train today...
At that thought, I rolled out of bed to take a shower. When I got out of the shower, I looked at myself in the mirror sadly.
You see, my Father thought that girls who wore a lot of make-up and dark nail polish were unseemly. So, every time I saw him (during summer vacations and sometimes the Holidays) I had to magically remove my nail polish and go easy on the eyeliner. It was complete hogshit, and I hated dealing with my Father for this reason. It was not fair that I didn't get to be myself around him.
But the part I dreaded out of it all was... my hair. He would never let me dye the ends of my hair black. That's why I magically made it the way it was. No one knew or had seen me with my normal hair before. Until today.
Gah... I'll have to do that on the train, too.
Sighing, I grabbed my eyeliner pencil so I could apply it. You could barely tell I was wearing any by the end (compared to my daily amount) and I hated it SO much. Grabbing my wand, I pointed it at my left hand.
"Rimuova nail polish," I chanted, watching the nail polish fade away. I put my wand in my left hand and pointed it at my right hand. "Rimuova nail polish." It did the same thing.
I dressed myself in my Hogwarts uniform. Luckily, my Father let me wear black clothing, but he didn't let me wear anything studded or connected to a chain. That part always pissed me off. But at least he didn't make me wear girly clothes... except at parties.
I didn't know how Sirius would take this. Would he respect my Father's wishes? Or would he get mad that my Father was controlling me?
He won't get mad, I thought with a chuckle. Will he..?
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