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Chapter 6 : Of Practicing the Basics of Human Kindness
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“How do you do it?” Cried an exasperated Sirius Black, as he neatly fell unto his back unto the plush cushions of the Gryffindor couch.
“Do what?” Remus muttered, not bothering to wretch his eyes away from the current book he had in his lap. He had witnessed far too many of Sirius’s melodramatic complaints to even be surprised at the distressed tone in Sirius’s voice.
“How can you always be so nice.”? Sirius complained, looking up at his werewolf best mate imploringly. “It’s overrated, mate. I don’t understand how you do it.”
Remus closed his book and surveyed his friend whose head rested near his legs. He looked actually put out, what a nancy, Remus thought.
“You’re absolutely pathetic.” He responded dryly. “Whose the lucky individual to whom you tried to inflict your charm upon?”
“What?” Sirius asked, upset. This was the second time today he had been mocked and truth be told, he didn’t like the feeling. Only of course, this time it was Remus, who was known for his sarcastic remarks so Sirius wasn’t inclined to be that upset.
“Nothing.” Remus smirked. “But what did she do to you this time?”
“Rejected my invitation to the party.” He replied sullenly. Sirius was baffled, completely baffled. The parties that he and James threw were mad, ricocheting, an experience only a select few were subject to, so why, when he had so kindly asked her to come to his party, had she so vehemently refused?
“I take it, this is you being ‘nice’” Remus rolled his eyes at his poor friend.
“Well, yes! Moony, the girl has no friends!” Remus winced at the blunt tone his friend used. It could have been, had it not been for the courage and bravado of James to unite a group of four different individuals, that he could have easily been the one with ‘no friends.’
“And you were trying to help.” Remus muttered, understanding dawning on his face. A sudden rush of brotherly affection engulfed Remus who was very much surprised by Sirius’s attempt at helping a friendless girl. Remus had the sudden urge to hug his best mate but considering how unmanly that was; he instead, gave a discreet nod of approval.
“Of course, I was trying to bloody help!” Sirius spit out angrily. “She just needs friends because it’s rather painful talking to her.” His tone softened. “She just needs friends.”
And because he couldn’t stand it anymore, Remus gave Sirius an affectionate scuff to the head. He was being so bloody valiant, so understanding and entirely proving why he was sorted into Gryffindor rather than Slytherin. Remus who always felt that the Marauder’s friendship was the most important thing to him in the world, deftly sympathized with Janelle who had no one and she, he was pretty positive, didn’t have lycanthropy.
“Ow!” Sirius said rubbing his head. “What was that for?”
“For being a nice git.” Remus muttered and fearing some sort of emotional turn of events, quickly picked up his book and resumed reading. Sirius realizing Moony’s concealed embarrassment grinned up at him.
“It’s overrated though.” He chimed.
“Practice makes perfect.” Remus replied loftily.
“You are so incredibly wise, Moonster,” Sirius laughed and with that he hurriedly scrambled off the couch in the process hitting a Remus’s nose with his hand.
“Oi, you wanker.” Remus snarled, clutching his nose but before he could let out more strings of profanities in his best mates direction, he found Sirius sprinting out of the common room. “Oi, where are you going?” He yelled after him.
“Practicing.” Came Sirius’s mysterious reply.
Remus shook his head and pitied the poor individuals into which, Sirius ‘practiced’ upon. Poor sods. And so he continued to read unaware of the how well Sirius’s practicing was going to go and how painfully blissfully unaware of the repercussions of Sirius’s ‘practicing’ would do in the nearby future.
I really couldn’t careless if he was the bloody bride of Sri Lanka or the Sultan of Mustafar, or the Czar of England because really, when it came down to it, he was a right git. Really, he was.
First, he kisses me without my consent, yells at me for not being able to hold a decent conversation, calls me a lunatic and then in an act of pity invites me to his ‘annual party’! But when I refuse to go, he gets all huffy and puffy and prideful that he storms off in a rage like it’s somehow my duty to attend his blasted party thereby confusing all my emotions and also making me feel guilty!
Git. Face. Arrogant. Impatient. Angry. Arse. Hole. Guilt. Inducing. Jerk.
“I abhor you.” I shake my fist angrily to the heavens, imagining his face.
Phillip Boot, my rather better than thou potions partner, gives me ‘the look’. The look consisting of ‘what the hell is wrong with this girl.’ I get it quite a lot. But considering Phillip Boot gives everybody that look, I really couldn’t be bothered. Also, he talks like I’m a retarded person, very slowly and deliberately with hand gestures that make him look like an idiot. Fantastic, another boy that I hate!
“Do.” He enunciates his words clearly. “You.” He points to me. “Understand?” And he does this ridiculous arm gesture pointing to his head and then pointing to mine and he does ‘jazz hands.’ What a card, really. If I were a deaf person I would kill myself talking or rather ‘signing’ to this ridiculous person.
“You know what, Boot?” I snap. “Fous le camps, oui? Tu as une visage a faire sauter les plaques d’égouts. Aussi, mange de merde tu con.”
Roughly translated: (Fuck off, yeah? You’ve got a face that would blow manhole covers. Also, eat shit, you idiot!”) My mother taught me how to swear in ten languages, she claimed swearing was much less vulgar in different languages. Besides it sounds prettier in French, doesn’t it?
“Merci beaucoup,” He replies in an appalling French accent. He seriously looked like I paid him a compliment. Whatever. Le petit con could mange de merde.
“No, thank you.” I simper sweetly and roll my eyes away. Who’s stupid now, fool? I start gloating to myself but am cut rather short by a giggle to my right. I look over to find Lily Evans is holding back laughter. I look politely away. I don’t like talking to popular girls; they are just as dangerous and vindictive as freaking dragons. Don’t believe me? Ask Potter.
“I didn’t know you spoke French.” Lily says suddenly. Is little Miss Perfect talking to me?
“A bit.” I mumble. “You didn’t understand that did you?” She giggles. “And that would be a yes.” I sigh.
“Lily Evans.” She says sticking out her hand. I stare at it, wondering what the hell is happening. I’ve known Lily Evans for six bloody years and the most I’ve ever said to her was, “Excuse me, I need to go to the loo.” Well what do you know hell has frozen over!
“I know.” I say stupidly and shake her hand. She looks at me expectantly. “And you’re..” she prompts.
“Janelle Marriot.” I finally reply. “Err… pleasure.” Riight.
“So I heard you were coming to Potter’s party?” She asks offhandedly.
Ah. That was why. The party. Well, I’m sick of the party truth be told. The party can go to hell for all I care. The Giant Squid could come and smoke hookah and I wouldn’t give a damn.
“I wouldn’t go if my life depended on it.” I reply coolly. “It seems like a pointless affair.”
I want to pat myself on the back for that nice, smooth comment that didn’t have one single, creepy, weird and/or disturbing fact in it. In fact, my comment could be regarded as slightly snobby. Ooplah!
“I used to agree.” Replies Prefect Evans. “But it is a homecoming party and you meet lovely new people but don’t let Potter hear me say that.”
“I’m sorry but I’m not exactly the most socially forward person, in fact just talking to you right is unbearably painful for me.” She looks at me insulted. “I mean, not like that, I meant that I have trouble trying to keep my mouth shut. Oh see? I insulted you without meaning to. Really, truly I didn’t mean it like that. You’re a very nice person. Not that we’ve ever talked much but it was nice of you to make the effort.”
“I see.” She replies and resumes chopping her grass roots and we don’t talk for the remainder of the class. That was not awkward at all. Just as class ends however, she catches my eye and gives me a rather tentative smile, which I am very happy to return. Really, I’m a freak but as I smile at her she calls out, “You should think about coming, Janelle.”
Of course I won’t but to indulge her I nod. She was nice enough anyway. Too bloody perfect in fact. It was rather eerie.
I shrug as I head out of Slughorn’s classroom. What I need now is a good long nap. I could afford to miss Astronomy, besides…. My eyelids flicker sleepily… I would need all the energy I could get for well… I rack my brain for any social activities and after realizing that I am me, I laugh. Right, I just need sleep and by golly I was going to get it.
As I’m walking toward Ravenclaw tower alone in the deserted corridor, half asleep I spot a rather haggard looking Remus coming from the opposite end of the corridor. He notices me and waves kindly. He rather is a quite adorable looking bloke with his sandy blonde hair and sad, mysterious eyes.
“Hello, Janelle.” He pauses and then gives me a searching look that I don’t understand. “You haven’t seen Sirius have you?”
“Fortunately, no.” I say smiling slightly. He frowns a little at this.
“So he hasn’t been acting oddly lately?” He asks again.
“Is he supposed to? Well, in any case I haven’t seen him. I was just on my way to take a nap, you should too by the looks of things.” I say yawning. “You look awfully tired.”
He shrugs and with a grimace says, “I guess it’s my time of the month.”
“Tell me about it.” I reply and give him a nice grin. “Well, I’m off and you’re going to be late for class.” I add.
“Oh. I’m headed to the Hospital Wing. I’m feeling a little bit peaky.” He mutters and impulsively I lay the back of my hand to his forehead. He looks startled and I am too but it can’t be helped. I smile apologetically but then gasp as my skin comes into contact with his.
“You’re burning up, Remus!” I exclaim.
“Nothing to worry about.” His brow furrows. “But I really ought to be going.”
He gives me a gallant wave and walks off toward the Hospital Wing.
“If you collapse in the hall call me!” I yell to his retreating back. I am completely unaware of the absurdity of this statement until it comes out of my mouth and I get a hearty chuckle in response. “I’m being serious.”
“I will.” He assures me and gives me one last wave before he turns the corner and disappears from my view.
Remus Lupin is absolutely sweet and he’s one of the rare few that I am comfortable to be around so curiously I was sad to see him go, which is utterly selfish of me considering he looks like he’s about to pass out any minute. Where were his damn friends anyway? Weren’t they supposed to help their sick mate? I grumble furiously to myself at the in competency of the rest of the ‘Marauders.’
But by this time I might as well be sleep walking and even though I worry about Remus, who I might at least, barely consider a sort of friend, I find that I’m out like a log. I’ll have time to feel guilty after I’ve taken this nap. But… now… I really ought to close my eyes.
“Okay, Prongsie, old boy, don’t you think you’re a overreacting?”
“Overreacting?” He cried. “Overreacting?”
“Are you going to answer the question?”
“Wanker.” He hissed.
“Come on,” Sirius said, “We’re the Marauders, we’re the captains of change, the fight the bad guy until we turn blue, protector of the underdogs, courageous fighters of the Gryffindor House but most importantly we’re the…” Sirius beckoned for James to finish but the bespectacled boy only glared, causing Sirius to turn to Remus who only managed a You-Got-Yourself-Into-This-Shit look, causing Sirius to turn to Peter who looked confused.
“Mischief Makers?” Peter said hopefully.
“Of course, that too.” He said impatiently. “But as the coolest, most charming and beloved ones of the school, it is our duty to spread our coolness toward others who lack it.”
“So you invited the losers?” James cried. “Honestly, Sirius! Victoria Holt? I haven’t seen her nose in ages! Jonathan Bale? I haven’t heard him talk ever in my life. Natasha Miller? The warts on her face have not banished. And all the other unknowns that you’ve invited! Merlin’s pants, our bloody reputations are at stake, man!”
Sirius shrugged and lazily wound his arm around James’s shoulder.
“Mate, I was being nice.” He said simply.
Remus scoffed. Peter looked bewildered and James looked murderous.
“To be nice?” He hissed dangerously. “You invited those people to be nice?”
“I’m insulted by your surprise, Prongs.” Sirius said.
And when it looked like there was a more than likely chance that James was going to punch Sirius in the face, the only person that could have distracted his attention walked into the common room.
“Evans.” James nodded, immediately slipping out of Sirius’s grip and ruffling his hair. She twitched in response.
“Potter.” She growled and swept past him. But Lily suddenly stopped in her tracks and turned slowly toward James. “Oh, I think it’s really nice of you to invite Victoria and Natasha to your party and the other people you usually terrorize. Glad to see your capacity for human feelings have evolved over the years, Potter.”
James blinked stupidly while Lily looked on, suddenly very uncomfortable.
“Stop staring, Potter.” She suddenly hissed menacingly and with that she turned on her heel and went on her way to her dorm.
“Did she… did she…” He whispered in awe.
Remus nodded smugly while Sirius clapped a hand on James’s back.
“So you’re good about me inviting those people?” Sirius said, winningly.
“Yeah… yeah…” James muttered, distracted, his thoughts solely on the encounter with his beautiful Lily flower. “Great.”
Remus turned toward Sirius and smiled sardonically.
“Still think being nice is overrated?” He questioned.
“Not at all.” Sirius grinned easily. “Not at all.”
A/N: Hallo mes cheries! What is up? I'm uber busy at the mo so I apologize for the short and rather crummy update but I hope you still enjoy it anyway. But there is more Marauder interaction so that's always good! Thanks again to all you readers out there, even the silent ones, seriously you guys rock. Anyway contructive critisism would be nice. Give me a shout!
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