Chapter 6 : Late!
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It was dark. Midnight spilled from the window onto the floor. Remus rolled over, thinking the voice was his imagination.
There was no way that he could ignore it, now. He opened his eyes and glanced around the room. Sirius was sitting awake, cross-legged on top off his blankets.
Remus groggily stood up and walked over to him. Kneeling next to the bedspread --- and trying not to wake the others --- Remus whispered, “Padfoot, what’s up?”
“Just worried, Remus,” Sirius replied in an even lower tone.
“Sirius,” Remus said, raising an eyebrow. “What the hell do you have to be worried about?”
“I was just thinking about last night, in the Shack. I’ve never seen a worse transformation out of you. I mean, the way you… collapsed like that…” Sirius trailed off.
Remus smiled. “And that’s why you’re not in bed, sleeping? If you haven’t noticed,” Remus said, almost boasting, “my recovery rate this time was phenomenal!”
“Yeah. Don’t you think that that’s a little odd? Your transformations have been getting steadily worse, Remus. Last month, you missed three days. This time, you miss one? What’s going on, Remus?” Sirius asked, getting antsy.
“It’s nothing, Padfoot, my friend. Maybe hormones, I don’t know…” Remus said in an air of confidence. Maybe there was something to worry about, but he wasn’t going to make that known.
“If you say so, Moony,” Sirius replied. “I still think that something’s amiss.” Rolling over, he said nothing more to Remus.
Giving Sirius’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze, Remus tip-toed back to his bed and crawled in. Brow furrowed, he did not go to sleep until hours later.
Remus felt the sunlight on his face and rolled over. He would return to his classes, today, but how he wished for a nap!
He rubbed the sleep from his eyes, and noticed there was something out of place about the dorm. Stopping, he looked around trying to place it. The room was quiet… and the marauders were gone.
This early? Remus wondered, a little hurt that they had gone down to breakfast without waking him up.
He made his way down the staircase. Boy, Remus thought. It’s quiet out here, too! Looking around, there wasn’t a soul in sight. That’s odd. Usually there were a couple people in the common room, those that didn’t eat in the Great Hall and those that slept in an extra half hour or so.
Remus sat down on one of the common room sofas next to the fire. Warming his hands, he looked at the hearth and pondered his worsening transformations and his latest fast recovery.
A cuckoo chimed, interrupting his train of thought. Cuckoo? Not this early! The reason why it was so empty in the dorm finally dawned on him. Remus looked at the clock. Sure enough, it was later than he had thought. He already missed his first class.
Jumping up, Remus was determined to get to his second class on time. Though, he probably had already earned a detention with Professor Slughorn.
“You were murmuring in your sleep,” Padfoot continued. “We tried to wake you, but thought it was best to leave you when you didn’t stir.”
“Yeah,” James added. “You kinda looked pale and tired.”
Remus sighed. “Oh, well,” he said, finally.
That earned a grin from James and Sirius, who were both amused that Remus had finally earned himself a detention on his own. The majority of detentions that Remus had had to do were the result of Sirius and James’s doing. After all, Remus was the ‘responsible one’.
Remus turned back to the cat that he was supposed to be transfiguring into a carrot. A rabbit would’ve been much more appropriate, Remus thought before muttering the incantation.
Remus was prodding Sirius with his wand, trying to make milk come from his nose. His wand fell to the floor with a clutter, however, when Lily walked by.
Remus pretended that nothing happened and retrieved it. Sirius, however, did not fall for Remus’s feign.
With a smirk, Sirius said, “so you do fancy her, then…”
“Who?” Remus asked, looking at the chicken sandwich on his plate.
“You know perfectly well who,” James muttered, frowning. “What is going on between you two?”
“Nothing,” Remus replied, poking his sandwich with a fork. “I already told you guys that.”
“Ah, Remus, m’boy,” Sirius replied. “That was before what we saw last night. Remember?”
“Yeah! What was she doing in our dorm?” James piped up.
“What do you guys care? Padfoot: no, I am not getting any. Prongs: nothing is going on between us. She’s way too good for me. Drop it, okay?”
Padfoot looked crestfallen and Prongs looked embarrassed.
“I’ve been a git, mate, and I’m sorry. I’ve had a rough time forgetting that girl,” James admitted. “I don’t mind if you fancy Lily. I’m still with Layla, and Lily has nothing to do with my life. I’m not going to bother you anymore.”
“Thanks,” Remus replied gratefully.
Sirius, however, still looked crestfallen at the news that Remus wasn’t getting any. Remus chuckled.
“You look much healthier,” Lily remarked after Defense Against the Dark Arts class.
“Thanks,” Remus replied. “How are you?”
“I’m okay; you?”
“Feeling better,” Remus said, enjoying the small talk that was leading them in conversational circles.
“May I ask you a personal question?” Lily asked, changing topic.
“Matters what it is, I guess, but shoot, anyway,” Remus answered, grinning.
“What do those infamous marauder nicknames mean?”
“Ah. Those. It seems you have a taste for marauder secrets, Lils.”
“Nah, the last one was just a Remus secret that the marauders happened to find out,” Lily recited.
Remus laughed heartily. “Well, if I told you, you’d not stick around, anymore, to ask me about my secrets.”
“Oh, Remus. I must insist that if I knew every one of your secrets, I’d still stick around, asking you questions,” Lily remarked, but then regretted and blushed.
Remus grinned broadly. “Where are you heading, Lily? I’ll walk you,” Remus said, one-hundred percent the gentleman.
“Common room,” Lily replied, her cheeks almost scarlet.
“I was heading there myself, anyway,” Remus lied. He then gave her a winning, one-of-a-kind smile.
Remus smiled at me today, and I don’t know what it meant. That gesture was so warm and genuine that it made me melt from the tips of my hair to my toes in the very shoes I was wearing. Sirius has a nice smile, but it seems so thin and shallow: almost like he practices in the mirror to use it on unexpecting girls in the hallway --- never to requite their adoration. Remus’s smile, though, is incomparable. He uses it when he wants to show real feeling without words. Ah, how I love it; so unlike Sirius’s above mentioned untouchable smile, or James’s smirk, or Peter Pettigrew’s grin. Remus is different from the rest of the marauders, and not just in his smile… perhaps, I have a different feeling reserved for him. I really hope the smile that he gave me today meant something.
[author's note: Special thanks to Lynn for the reviews! As for the rest of you silent readers, please take note of the gray box below. >< ]
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