Chapter 25 : Hello
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Giving one last groan of diluted hate, I walked out of the bathroom with a vacant expression. When I exited the bathroom, Amber and Lily looked up at me in confusion. They looked from my face to my total attire, and then they noticed my hands. Looking at each other, they raised their eyebrows. I began feeling very insecure and uncomfortable being studied.
"Kris, what happened to your eyes? You can see them!" Amber gasped dramatically as she noticed the lack of heavy eyeliner. I gave her a blank look and sighed.
"There's more," I said dreadfully.
"More?" breathed Lily with an arched eyebrow. "Kris, what's going on with you?"
"I'll explain later," I hesitated. "On the train."
"All right then. Let's go downstairs. I think we've missed breakfast," Lily blushed, knowing if it was anyone's fault, then it was hers. It was true and she knew it.
"Lily," I started forwardly, "I know what you're thinking. Don't. We don't blame you. If Amber were to get into a row with Remus, the same thing would've happened. And if Sirius and I had a full blown yelling competition, then--"
"If that happened then Sirius would piss himself and cry into his pillow for mercy on his weary soul," Lily snapped in amusement. I gasped, and then I laughed.
"What are you going on about?" I giggled slightly.
"You," Lily rolled her eyes, smiling. "Trust me, Kris. No one in this school likes getting into an argument with you. You're so... snappy, and... well, you are a fighter. I don't know the exact words, but it isn't pretty arguing with Kristin Lupin."
I grinned, taking pride in my arguing abilities. "That's one thing I'm good at."
"Guys, come on. We should get going," Amber piped, walking over to her trunk and hulling it over the door.
"You just want to go snog Remus," Lily accused slyly.
"Damn right. So hurry!" Amber took off, running out the door. Lily and I looked at each other and chuckled.
We set off downstairs, knowing that the boys would either be waiting there for us or we would be waiting for them. This made Lily feel uncomfortable.
"Are you all right?" I inquired, turning to Lily as we sat on the couch. The boys had yet to get down, or else they were coming back from breakfast.
Lily turned to me. It appeared as though I had kicked her out of her Lily Zone. "Oh. Yeah! I'm fine."
I looked down in sarcasm.
"What are you doing?" Lily asked.
"Just checking for puddles. There's a leak somewhere, I can hear it. Aha! Found it. The Puddle of Lies. Want to clean it up for us?" I asked sarcastically. I knew it was corny, but it made her tell the truth.
"You're such a dork," Lily claimed, shaking her head. "Fine. You want the truth so badly? No. I'm not all right. But I'm alive, have all my body parts, and am breathing just fine. So, I don't know what you consider to be 'all right,' but I thought I was up until now."
"Wow, Lily," said Amber with wide eyes. "I didn't know you liked Prongs so much."
"Yeah," Lily nodded. "Neither did I."
The air got thick around us until a chorus of male voices entered the Common Room.
It was Sirius, Remus, James, and Peter. All but James seemed to be singing a song really loudly.
"Macho, macho man! I've got to be, a macho man! Macho, macho man (yeah, yeah)! I've got to be a macho! Body, it's so hot, my body, Body, love to pop my body, Body, love to please my body, Body, don't you tease my body, Body, you'll adore my body, Body, come explore my body, Body, made by God, my body, Body, it's so good, my body!" James started singing along in the middle of it. It cheered him up until he saw Lily, Amber, and me sitting on the couch. The singing stopped.
"What do you prats think you're doing?" I burst into laughter. Us girls stood up and collected our trunks once again. Lily was staring off into space with a scoff on her face, one that was competing with James's.
"Singing about our hot bods," Sirius grinned cheekily.
"Well... don't." I snorted.
"It seemed like a good idea at the time..." Sirius drifted, looking away from me. His eyes landed on Lily who was still snarling silently at being in the same room as James.
There was a silence in the room for a few seconds; crickets were volunteering to fill it. That's when I broke it. "Right. Well then.” I cleared my throat. “Ready to go?"
"Hold on. Lily? Can I talk to you?" Sirius gently rested his hand on her shoulder. James raised his eyebrows, and then he narrowed his eyes at his best friend. What was Sirius doing?
"Not like I have a choice..." Lily walked to the side with Sirius. They whispered to each other -- actually, Sirius did most of the whispering. Lily was just standing there with a shocked look on her face. She soon nodded and walked back to my side. Sirius walked over and kissed my cheek swiftly then took his position opposite us with the other guys.
For some reason, Lily stopped looking so angry and stole glances at James. Perhaps Sirius straightened things out for them. I looked over at Amber, and she thought the same thing.
As Amber was about to interject, Professor McGonagall popped inside the Common Room. "Attention, students! Everyone leaving Hogwarts for the Holidays is to report to the Entrance Hall at this time!"
"Oww! That was my foot," hissed Amber as we walked down the corridors of the Hogwarts Express.
"Sorry," I smiled innocently. "I just want to sit down. This is perfectly stupid, not sharing a compartment with our boyfriends."
"Once again, that would be my fault," Lily blamed herself. "If James and I hadn't -- then we wouldn't -- I mean, you guys shouldn't--"
"Lily!" I snapped. "It's all right! We understand. We wouldn't ditch you. Oh, look! I think that one is empty!"
We all looked inside a compartment that appeared to be empty. Sliding the door open slowly, we were right.
"Good, I'm not in the mood to be with anyone else right now," Lily sighed, plopping down on the right side of the compartment.
"I concur." Amber raised her fingers slowly. "I'm mad tired. I need some sleeping room!"
"Er -- I'll just sit next to Lily then," I laughed, sitting on Lily's left.
"Okay. If you see any bugs or anything near me, wake me up," Amber said, lying down.
Lily chuckled. "Why would there be any bugs near you?"
"I smell dreadful," said Amber sarcastically. She then rolled her eyes. "On the way to Hogwarts this year, there was a ladybug on my shoulder. The silly thing must have flown on me before I boarded the train. I'm paranoid now, though. So if you see anything, wake me."
Lily and I looked at each other, stifling laughter, and then we looked back at Amber who was attempting to fall asleep. She sighed, and then she smiled. "Go ahead and laugh, I know you want to."
Lily and I let out our laughter for about thirty seconds, and then we stopped. I turned to Lily, who was getting a book out of her carry-on bag.
She smiled at me and opened her book. All I could think to do to entertain myself was take out my notebook. I didn't, though. I just stared out the window, bored out of my mind. That's when I started thinking. What did Lily and Sirius talk about that changed Lily's opinion so drastically?
Go on and ask her, she'll tell you. You're her best friend.
Are you kidding? I can't ask her! What if she doesn't want to tell me anything? Then I'll be in the outs with her!
You're mental. That won't happen and you know it deep down.
Whatever. Fine. You want me to ask? I will. Just... not now.
The argument in my head was sending nerves throughout my body and my heart raced faster than it had a few minutes ago. I sighed slowly to calm myself down and continued glimpsing out the window.
About an hour passed by and I had changed out of my Hogwarts uniform. I now wore dark blue jeans and a black, flow-y blouse. It was a lot more feminine than what my usual outfit consisted of, but my Father wouldn't like it if he saw what I wore at Hogwarts after classes.
I had yet to change my hair. I had been putting it off until the very last minute, but I had to tell Lily and Amber about it soon. Sirius, as well. That was why I was going to visit their compartment. I had to find it first...
"Lily," I whispered, careful not to wake Amber up. "Keep an eye on the Paranoid Bug Mistress. I'm going to go visit Sirius."
Lily smiled and nodded as Amber stirred quietly. Lily whispered, "All right. But it really isn't nice to joke about Amber when she can't hear you--"
"That's the beauty of a joke, my dear. I wasn't serious." I stuck my tongue out at Lily. She rolled her eyes and put her nose back into her book. She was nearly finished with it. "Oh, and Lily?"
"Be prepared to tell me what you and Sirius talked about when he pulled you away earlier. Because I'm asking when I get back."
"Thanks for the heads-up," Lily mocked. I flashed a toothy grin and quietly exited the compartment.
After fifteen minutes of simply searching for the right compartment, I finally found it as I was about to give up. I smiled and knocked eagerly. I heard the deep, muffled voices of Sirius and Peter inside and knew that they were having an active conversation. Sirius grinned and let me in.
"Miss me much?" he smirked, moving out of my way. I sat down where I had seen him sitting before he got up to allow my entry.
"Yeah, couldn't hold myself down. I was ready to end myself because you weren't with me," I rolled my eyes in full sarcasm.
"Don't be hatin'," said Sirius, adding a fake frown.
"I'm not hatin', I'm Satan," I grinned evilly. "Look, I have to tell you something. Where're James and Remus?" I looked around the compartment, only seeing Peter. He waved shyly and I smiled back.
"Remus is on duty -- the little Prefect, his parents must be so proud. And James is getting dressed in the bathroom. You just missed him, actually, so it might be a while before he's back. What is it you've got to tell me?" Sirius inquired.
"Erm, something I'd rather share with you alone," I said, glancing at the half-opened compartment door. Peter coughed slightly.
"Did you want me to leave?" he asked quietly.
"Oh," I frowned, turning to Sirius. I then looked back at Wormtail. "No, Sirius is going to come with me." I grabbed Sirius's arm as he showed me his confused appearance.
"I can walk, love," he said while gently peeling my fingers off of his arm. He then placed my hand on his abdomen. I snatched my hand away as I heard him laugh.
"Stop that! Not here," I said, wiping my hand on his shirt. "You're terribly cocky today."
"Sorry, I'll try to tone it down," winked Sirius. "Where are we going, anyway?"
"You'll see when we get there," I said, not wanting to tell him. If he knew, then he would turn around and forget about it. With this in mind, I added, "It's really important that you know this."
"Know what? Do you have a contagious disease or something?" asked Sirius, his eyes wide.
"No, don’t be stupid," I laughed. "All I'm saying is that it will probably have the same result as a contagious disease."
"Don't use metaphors on me," Sirius whined. "I'm more of a straight forward kind of guy."
All of a sudden, I came to a stop, having reached my destination. "Why'd you stop?" Sirius asked. "More specifically, why'd you stop outside of the girls' room?"
I smirked. Then, I knocked on the door. It was empty.
"No," Sirius shook his head in realization. "Let's just ask Wormtail to leave the compartment!"
"Why? We're right here," I giggled at his feeble attempt to escape.
"I love an insane specimen," Sirius said wistfully. "It's the girls' lavatory!"
Sirius blinked. "I'm not a girl?"
"You don't sound too certain of yourself."
He stared at me before nearly shouting, "I'm not going in there!"
I sighed, and then I smirked. Looking inside the bathroom door that I opened, I said, "Oh my gosh! Is that a giant cookie? Why would someone leave a perfectly amazing cookie in here?!"
"What?" Sirius asked, peering into the bathroom. I pushed him inside, got inside for myself, and shut the door. I locked it behind me, making sure he couldn't escape.
"I want my cookie, Lupin!" Sirius shook his fist in my face jokingly.
"I'll buy you one later," I said, shushing him. After, he got quiet, and so did I. I really didn't want to tell him how my Father controlled me in his presence.
"So... we're here. Are you going to tell me why I'm in the girls' bathroom?" Sirius chuckled nervously, raising an eyebrow.
"What do you think of my outfit?" I asked, changing the subject. He stared at me in bewilderment.
"I hadn't really noticed it," he said casually. "It looks fine, I guess."
I cringed. "You guess?"
"Well, do you want my honest opinion?"
"It's not really you," he admitted. "I mean, it is dark... but the color is all that's you. It looks more girly. Why are you wearing that, anyway?"
"Would you like me to change into the pink one?" I said snootily. He shook his head.
"I don't care what you're wearing. I just want you to be yourself," Sirius defended.
"I want to be me, too," I replied, a heat going to my face and palms, "but I can't. Look, I never told anyone this. Moony doesn't even know."
"Know what?" Sirius asked for the second time in five minutes, grasping my arm gently.
"My Father," I breathed, "he doesn't like anything that he finds unseemly. He once punished me for wearing a nose ring that wasn't permanent two summers ago after fourth year. He grounded me for just about all summer."
"Oh," Sirius uttered quietly.
"Well, then, you're trying to say that he doesn't like the clothes you normally wear?" Sirius questioned.
"Okay," Sirius exhaled in relief. "I don't like people that are controlling. That's why I left 'home' to live with James."
"I know. But... Sirius? There's more. And I'm very, very sorry for not telling you any of this sooner," I said, my heart pounding harshly in my chest.
He screwed up his eyebrows and stared at me. I brought my hand up to my hair and grabbed the end. Then, I brushed the tip with my other hand. Looking into Sirius's eyes, I saw a flare in them.
"I'm guessing your Father doesn't consider two hair colors to be appropriate then?" said Sirius, trying with all his might to contain his anger.
I shook my head. "He's never seen me with two hair colors and he's not going to. Ever."
"So what do you do? Hide yourself all break?"
"No," I snapped shyly. "I change my hair color to just the blonde."
"You don't re-dye it though, do you? Like, is it going to be a permanent change or is it a spell that wears off or something?" Sirius asked as his words connected because he was speaking so fast.
"It's a spell. It wears off after a week, so I have to keep doing it," I said, hopeful that he wouldn't get too mad.
"So that's why you were so good at changing the color of your eyebrows in Transfigurations a few weeks ago," realized Sirius.
"Exactly. I've been changing my hair since second year, so I was used to making simple color changes," I said, glancing away for a few seconds.
"And you do all of this and go to all of this trouble just to please your Father?" asked Sirius venomously, looking at me as though I was mental.
I grimaced. It wasn't all to 'please' my Father; it was to keep him from being unpleasant towards me. If there was no conflict then everyone's feelings were spared.
"Please understand," I begged.
He let air out of his lungs through his nose. Looking at the ground, he whispered, "Okay."
There was a knock on the door. The voice outside sounded extremely impatient. "Hurry up! Some of us need to use that thing, y'know!"
I looked at Sirius. His eyes grew into saucers. I started panicking. "Erm, okay! Can you, er, leave? Skedaddle? Shoo? Maybe go sit back down? It smells really bad in here!" I glanced at Sirius, biting my lip.
"It can't be that bad--" said the voice in the outside corridor. To scare her away, I kicked the door, hurting my toes. I heard a gasp and the girl outside the door punched the door. "Fine! If I come back and you're not out in three minutes, I'm getting someone to throw you out! We're nearly at the station!" Footsteps informed us that the girl walked away rather angrily.
"Are girls always that gentle with each other?" Sirius whispered in sarcasm as I peeked outside the door. Clear.
I turned to him, nodding. "You go. I have to do my hair."
Sirius nodded slowly, stroking my long locks out of my face. Then, he bent over and kissed me. "I'll see you."
He left me there to look in the mirror. I sighed, pulling my wand out. Brushing the tips of my hair against my cheek, I smiled grimly. "Rectus capillus!" I pointed my wand to my hair and watched it change into my natural hair color. I shook my head, putting my wand back in my pocket.
When I got back to the compartment, it was empty. The train had stopped and I didn't notice? I snatched my bag up angrily. At least Lily and Amber didn't have to see my hair.
As I was walking off of the train, a thought struck me. My house. Sirius Black, a pure-blooded rich kid, would be staying at my house.
Merlin, please help me! I thought to myself as I walked over to the brick wall and leaned against it with my trunk. What if he doesn't like me after seeing my house?
"Kris!" Sirius yelled from five feet away. He skipped around many parents and children to get to me, but when he did, he had shifty eyes. "Where's your Father?" It was then that he noticed my hair. He raised his eyebrows and shrugged.
I smiled, thankful that he didn't mind it. "Should be here soon--"
"KRISTIN!" yelled a semi-deep male voice. I looked to my right and immediately straightened, forcing a large smile onto my face. Sirius patted his already perfect hair down and he brushed his shirt off nervously. I tried not to laugh. Nice one, Macho Man.
My Father walked up to us, his dark brown hair brushing back. "Oh. So you did come, then?" he asked groggily.
Sirius looked shocked. "Er, yes, Sir."
"Why were you skeptical?" my Father interrogated. "And why haven't you grabbed my daughter's belongings yet? You expect her to carry it on her own?"
Sirius looked befuddled, but muttered a quick apology and grabbed my heavy trunk. He also had his own to carry. I gave him a sympathetic look. "Hello, Dad--"
"Enough chit-chat, let's get in the car," said my Father hastily. He walked through the barrier without glancing back.
"You don't have to carry that, he's just being a git," I said, trying to get Sirius to give me my trunk back. He gulped.
"Erm, no. I think -- I think it's better if I do it. He's just concerned for your well being, as am I, so really, it's fine. Let me carry it," Sirius insisted.
"You're just nervous that he might snap at you," I nodded, agreeing with myself. "Well, either way, he's going to snap at you whether you carry my trunk or not. He's just like that."
"Your Father and my Mother should get together and have a spot of tea sometime soon," Sirius murmured as we went through the barrier.
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