Having just finished with a refreshing bath in the prefect bathroom, a sandy-haired sixth year stumbled through the Gryffindor portrait hole into the common room.
It was late, and he expected it to be deserted. To his surprise, however, there was a certain red-haired someone sitting by the fire. Tightening his robe more, he cautiously approached her. He ran his left hand through his wet hair, and used his right hand to lightly touch her shoulder.
As her head whipped around, he immediately noticed tear streaks. “Lily?”
“Oh, Remus!” Because they were prefects, Remus had spent considerably more time with Lily Evans than had the other marauders. Even more so than James --- the obsessed. Because of that, Lily was very comfortable when talking with Remus.
Lily sniffled at Remus’s bewildered look, and wiped her face. “Er, Lily, what’s the matter?” Remus asked, nervously toying with the belt of his robe. He’d never had much experience with crying girls, even though he was the “sensible” marauder.
“Well,” Lily snuffed, “I know I’ve never let on that I liked Potter, In fact, I’ve always been downright horrible to him. It’s just…” Lily trailed off.
Remus sat down and waited in silence for her to finish.
“I do like him. I’ve never fully realized until now.”
Remus smiled. He knew how much James obsessed over her. “What’s the problem? Ask him out!”
Lily burst into tears. Through her sobs, Remus deciphered the word’s “can’t”, “snogging”, and “horrible Layla Burke.” Apparently Remus had missed much while he had been in the library and the prefect bathroom.
As he thought this, Lily put her head into her hands and heaved an enormous sigh. Remus scooted close to her and awkwardly patted her back.
Remus woke up the next morning to a small fluttering on his nose. He opened his eyes and saw a small paper butterfly hovering over his face.
He felt bewilderment as he snatched the butterfly and unfolded it. Lily always was good with charms, Remus thought as he read a message written in small uniform writing:
Remus. Thanks. I needed it.
I feel much better.
PS Don’t tell James that I was upset.
Remus smiled, but stuffed the letter into his pillowcase as he heard the other marauders stirring.
Remus silently pulled a shirt on and got ready for his day.
“Remus? That you?” Sirius mumbled groggily, hair askew.
“Yar,” Remus replied.
“Where were you last night, Moony?” James’s voice echoed from the other side of the dorm.
“Took a bath,” Remus replied in a monotone. He definitely didn’t need these questions so early in the day.
James sat up in his bed with a wide grin.
“You look happy, mate,” Remus said, knowing that that was what James wanted him to say.
“You missed it, Moon. James made out with Layla Burke last night,” Padfoot interrupted.
“What about Lil---,” Remus said but stopped, remembering the note.
“She’s never given me a second thought. It was wasted heartbreak,” James said, losing his grin and ruffling his hair.
“Okay.” Remus said, dropping the subject.
After classes that afternoon, the marauders were back in the common room. James had his face seemingly tangled in Layla Burke’s, and Sirius and Peter were playing exploding snap. Having exhausted all pranks for the day, the marauders were having down time. Remus, however, was restless.
“What is it, mate? Want to play?” Sirius asked as Peter’s eyebrows disappeared. Remus charmed them back and said, “Nah, Padfoot. I’m a little restless about that Potions essay. I’m gonna run to the library. Be back in a bit.”
Sirius sighed. “Alright Moony.” As Remus stumbled out the door, he added under his breath, “But you’ve gotta be bloody insane.” He flipped his lengthy black hair and continued to play.
Remus Lupin meandered through the hall, not knowing where to go. He finished in the library, but did not want to return to the snogging James and the messing-around Sirius and Peter. Always the martyr, Remus needed some alone time.
Rounding a corner, he ran into Lily, whom he had not seen today, and knocked her down. Papers flew everywhere, and Remus’s face reddened. “I’m so sorry!” He exclaimed, giving her a hand.
“Don’t worry about it,” Lily smiled, picking up papers.
Once everything had been straightened out, Lily asked, “Did you get my note this morning?”
Remus smiled and nodded. “You’re amazing at charms.”
“You haven’t told James about last night, have you? I know that you two are close,” Lily said, ignoring Remus’s last comment.
“ ‘Last night’? You act as if it were an affair!” Remus chuckled. “Oh, and I haven’t said anything to James.”
Lily laughed. “Thank you, Remus. You’re a great friend.”