Chapter 6 : Talking Sense
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It was only the next day when I started feeling disappointed that I hadn’t got a serious answer out of Remus during our small session of Truth. Not that I wasn’t pleased to have a chipper, more tolerable Remus on my hands. I was very happy that he had finally perked up again, but I was disappointed that I had such a good chance to learn about him and he somehow wiggled out of it.
While I sat on a wall in the atrium with him, staring off into space as he worked on an essay, I realized how many times he had actually managed to get out of telling us about his sexual antics during the times of ‘bonding’ between the four of us. He would always have a way out of it, and I noticed that because if this, I didn’t even know if Remus ever had a real crush let alone kissed someone.
It was unhealthy to not have feelings like that, whether it be a simple crush or something deeper than that like what James and Lily had. It wasn’t good for him not to experience some sort of emotion at his age, to not be touched by someone or feel someone touch him. I don’t even think he’s lets Lily hug him.
The thought that Peter had gone further with another human physically than Remus, was just completely unbelievable.
And yet, with how little he has revealed to us, to me, I can only assume that Remus has managed to somehow not notice the female species as much as they have went not noticing him.
It defied everything. How someone so wonderful could go so overlooked.
“What?” Remus’ voice sounded next to me and I blinked, not even realizing that I had been staring at him. I smiled and shook my head, trying to brush off the embarrassment and he smirked at me.
“Nothing, I was just, spaced out. Thinking about stuff.” I explained, and his smirk grew.
“What kinda stuff?” he seemed like he was thoroughly uninterested in his work now, which was rare, and I decided that if he wanted to know so badly I would punish him for choosing conversation with me over finishing school work.
“You kinda stuff.” I replied simply, calmly, even though under the surface it was nerve-racking just thinking about saying that let alone letting it slip from my lips. He turned his eyes back to his work quickly, making something down on his paper. I wondered if he was also acting calm as much as I was.
“Yeah?” his tenor revealed his cautious interest, nervousness hidden behind the questioning tone. I saw his foot twitch slightly in his cross-legged sitting position. A sudden tension hit the air, and it made me curious as to if it was coming from me, or him. Did he have an idea where I was taking this perhaps? Was he not willing to admit yet that he was as inexperienced with love as I was with dragon wrangling?
“I was just contemplating why you don’t have a girlfriend.” I commented offhandedly, and I heard him snort slightly.
“Good question. Funny, I was wondering the same thing about you.” I heard the slight defensiveness in his tone, screaming at me to back off and mind my own business, but, this was my business, because Remus was my friend. And friends don’t let friends rot away from lack of physical needs. I backed off too much, I needed to stop backing off.
“I choose not to have a girlfriend. I’m not interested in a serious relationship right now, and I would only hurt someone if I pretended that I was. I don’t want to hurt anyone.” That was the truth and I saw no way of him using that against me. I didn’t want to hurt anyone by faking feelings. That doesn’t mean that I was a complete hermit to physical desire.
“I don’t either.” He replied, his eyes finally moving to mine after spending the conversation looking down at his work. I heard the bitterness in his tone, and caught his implication, which left me slightly opened mouthed in disbelief.
Stupid Remus. Somehow he thinks that even now, while he’s so prefect, so docile, he could kill someone simply because of what he is once every month.
I went to speak, but was diverted when the boy’s eyes darted away from mine at the sound of an airy laugh. I went to follow the glance but was too distracted when he let his eyes fall down to his work again and I caught the smallest bit of color tingeing his cheeks. He closed his textbook and stood, glancing at me.
“I’m done here, let’s go see if we can find James and Peter.” He didn’t wait for a reply, and was already headed back inside before I had time to get up. While trailing him I glanced behind me, catching sight of a head of long blonde hair.
I was too confused and nervous to mention it again while we walked, and when I finally felt like I had the courage to say something, we had found James and Peter and it was already too late. I glanced at Remus and noticed the look in his eyes that told me he knew how lucky he was that we had found the other half of our foursome so quickly.
I decided to leave it for another time and simply let myself enjoy the company of my friends, something I found myself taking for granted lately.
Dull doesn’t even began to describe a trip to the library with Remus. Try mind numbing. If I would have known that he actually read at the library I wouldn’t have insisted that I go with him. Actually, I probably would have, just to keep an eye on the boy. He tended to get irritable after the full moon.
And I tended to get irritable when I spent too long away from him.
I knew he hadn’t really wanted me to come, simply because of the day before and the look that he knew I saw in his eyes; that look that showed how thankful he was that we didn’t get time to get deep into my questioning of his strange behaviour. When he had said he was going to the library and I had jumped to join him, I knew that he thought I wanted to go so that I could badger him. In truth, the idea had completely slipped my mind, but when his reluctance showed ever so slightly in the tone of his voice when he agreed that I could come with him, it reminded me.
Sometimes Remus doesn’t even realized that he’s the master of digging his own grave.
Of course, I found it extremely hard to ask questions when it was awkward like this, so silent with no conversation to lead into the quarries that I wanted to ask him. So it ended up that I simply sat there as he read. Perhaps he knew that it would be impossible for me to probe at him if we weren’t have friendly conversation, which would be a good reason as to why he was refraining from speaking so much as a few words.
We knew each other far too well.
“Hello Sirius, Hello Remus.” A voice shook me from my numbed state, breaking the gentle silence of the library and my bickering thoughts that I had lulled myself with. I looked up from my thumbs, where I had been occupying my eyes by spinning the two digits around each other when I heard my name on a silky smooth voice, eyes finally finding something worth looking at when they met the blues of Julia Tolken.
Julia Tolken. If I was dating she would defiantly be one of the girls at the top of my list of ones to consider. There was nothing amazingly special about her. Her hair was a sandy blonde and her body was average, but her voice was like satin and she was probably the most innocent thing I had ever met. That made her positively irresistible. Innocent was very alluring to most men.
She was just adorable. Plain and simple. And you couldn’t help but smile when she smiled at you.
I proved the theory when my lips turn upward involuntarily at her kind greeting, but I realized quickly that she had only said my name out of politeness, for once I acknowledged her she moved her gaze quickly and steadily onto Remus.
And I clued in. She was the head of blonde hair that I had seen in the Atrium, no doubt she had been giggling with her friends over my company, and Remus had managed to catching his name with his over sensitive hearing that he probably still had left over from his transformation.
Reason for the blush that had crawled over his features.
Did Remus have a crush?
I ignored the defensive growls inside my head that were directed towards the blonde.
“What are you reading?” she asked courteously, a gentle smile glued on her features as she waited expectedly. Despite the growing fury of those shadows inside my skull, I raised an eyebrow, glad to be a spectator, smirking slightly at the idea of a girl, Julia Tolken nonetheless, finally noticing my good friend for who he was; strong, silent, and datable.
Unfortunately, Remus didn’t think the same about himself, or Julia for that matter, because he didn’t even realize that she was speaking up until I kicked his shin hard under the table.
“Merlin’s mother Sirius!” he exclaimed in a hiss at me, only to see me glaring at him meaningfully the moment he caught my gaze. He sighed, pulling his eyes away and flicking them to the girl in front of us.
From the tone he used I had a feeling that my crush theory had been debunked.
“Socrates.” He replied simply to her, confirming to me that he had heard her and just decided to ignore. She let her grin grow, pretending, I’m sure, that she hadn’t witnessed the scruff between us before hand.
“Wow. So you’re into muggle philosophy?” Another grin on her features, although I watched it become steadily more awkward as she tried to keep his eye, failing miserably.
My theory about her influential smile was debunked also, because Remus kept a serious face even though she was beaming at him.
I sighed under my breath. Leave it to Remus to ruin the few chances he gets to actually get the normal type of tail.
“I guess.” He replied in a mutter, never even taking his eyes off the page. Her smile fell the smallest bit this time, and I frowned slightly as she waved discreetly at me to dismiss herself. I waited until she was out of range before I smacked Remus hard on the back of his head, his eyes, still slightly golden, shooting up to me in shock and anger. I almost lost my confidence.
“What was that for?” he asked, appalled as he finally put his book down to rub the back of his head. The urge that I got to smack him again brought my back from his haunting gaze. I refrained.
“What was that for? Are you joking?” I paused for a moment to see his look turn sheepish. I wasn’t sure if that was because he honestly had no idea why I hit him, or because he was feeling guilty for the way he had treated her. I assumed the first.
“Julia Tolken was just completely and insanely flirting with you, and you just blew her off.” I explained, showing him how appalled I was at his actions. He rolled his eyes.
“Whatever.” He said simply, implying that I was exaggerating. Maybe I was, but if I was I was only slightly.
“She’s probably off crying.” I continued, truly exaggerating this time, but seeing a flicker of worry in his eyes even so.
“No she’s not.” He shot back quickly, as if trying to convince himself. I sighed, letting a silence fall over us and letting him think I was leaving it there. He grabbed for his book again and settled in his chair to begin reading once more.
“Do you really think you’re that undesirable?” I asked after a moment, serious, seeing his gaze turn up from the page in slight surprise. I was annoyed sometimes that my friends were so startled with me when I acted sober. He shook the look away when he shook his head.
“That’s not it.” He replied.
“Then is it her? She not good enough for you?” I was trying to make him upset. Trying to push him off the edge a little, hoping to get some sort of reaction out of him, and I was surprised he didn’t see through what I was doing. Usually he was so good at catching me. I was surprised how quickly I was making him lose his cool.
“No, she’s good enough. She better than good enough.” He seemed like he was going to say something else, but left it there, straining to collect himself a little from the guilt he had let slip through in these words because of how I was pushing him. I sighed and let the library silence take over again.
“Then what’s the problem?” I thought I knew. I had a gut feeling when I thought about it, considering where I knew his thoughts had been for most of the week. But, I didn’t want to assume. I didn’t want to think that way of him without getting proof.
I mean, surely he had enough smarts to know that he wasn’t dangerous. Surely his hinted bitterness towards his transformation was simply left over from the days before, and he was over it now. He wasn’t stupid enough to think that way about himself.
“You know what the problem is.” Obviously I viewed the way Remus saw himself too highly.
I couldn’t help but sigh, sitting back in my seat to try and calm myself from tackling him there and smacking the sense into him that I knew he had lost. How could he think such a horrible thing about himself? How could he think he wasn’t good enough for someone simply because he was a werewolf?
It was the first time that there was an awkwardness between us. I wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was because he knew I was upset with him. Or maybe it was because he was thrown off by how serious I was being. Or maybe it was just because he was wallowing in his own self pity.
He wasn’t allowed to pity himself right now.
“Is that why you refuse to let people want to know you?” I asked suddenly, letting my bitterness sting my tone. I wanted him to know how wrong I thought he was. I heard him inhale quickly, like I had stabbed him. He let his mouth open slightly as if he was going to reply, then was out of his chair and heading toward the library door before I had time to blink.
“Hey!” I called after him, being shushed by the librarian as I got up quickly to follow. I simply scowled at her as I hurried by.
He was out the door and a ways down the hall before I caught him, a tight grip around his elbow. He turned quickly, yanking away from me and letting a sound come from his throat that resembled a growl. I withdrew my hard gaze when his threw flames at me.
“Would you want to know this?” He asked in a hiss as he reached up and pulled down the collar of his shirt to show off one of his healing scars that climbed from below his arm to the hallow of his throat. I let my gaze soften more.
“If you had had the choice Sirius, would you have honestly chosen to be my friend? To deal with this like I have to? To have to keep my secret with me?” I went to reply, but he cut me off, no doubt knowing what I was going to say and not wanting to hear it.
“You have no idea what it’s like being me. You don’t know what it’s like worrying about if someone will ever catch on to the fact that I’m sick the same time ever month. Or if I’m with someone too much they might notice the changes in me. Or if I let someone touch me they might feel the scars.” I could feel the harshness of his words like he was yelling them at me, even though his voice was lower than a whisper, to keep them from rebounding off the corridor walls.
“People don’t want to know me. Not the real me at least.” He stated, turning to leave again. My reaction time wasn’t quick enough to get his arm, and I only just caught him around his finger tips, but it was enough to halt him. He didn’t turn this time, but instead simply glanced over his shoulder, his eyes resting on my grip around his hand. I felt like I should let go, the electricity of awkwardness stinging my palms, but I needed him to stay here. So I kept hold.
“Why are you so scared of being close to someone?” I asked finally after a moment of stillness.
“Because no one should care enough for me to get that close. I’m dangerous to like that much. I don’t want one more person that I have to protect from myself. I don’t want the risk of hurting someone else.” I couldn’t help but smirk as he spoke, glad to finally hear some honesty. I shook my head at him.
“You’re so selfish.” I caught him off guard, and his face turned slightly offended.
“Listen to yourself. You don’t want someone to love you simply because you would have to make an extra effort.” I saw his eyes flicker anger.
“That’s not why!” He exclaimed, frustrated, trying to pull his hand from mine, but I had a tight grip on him.
“You make yourself sound like an animal.” I jumped in, cutting off his objection and seeing pain contort on his face after the words. I knew it was coming, I could see it boiling under the surface, and those words would make it spill out.
“I am an animal!” There it was, said with all the pain and conflict that he had held inside for all this time. Just the sound of it on his tone, the defeat, was heartbreaking. There was the problem. He didn’t know.
“No you’re not! If you were an animal you would be biting me right now instead of yelling.” I didn’t let a silence take over. I needed to stomp that thought out immediately. He sneered and pulled the grip I still had on him up to his teeth, intending to do just what I said he wasn’t in spite. I pulled my hand away quickly then grabbed a chunk of his collar and pushed him against a wall, hoping to knock sense into him. I was surprised I had the strength in me, but I concluded that he probably simply just didn’t resist.
“You are a human. You’re a human who is sometimes an animal. But that doesn’t make you any less human. That doesn’t mean you love or are loved any less or differently!” His eyes were unwavering, steady and constant in their strong gaze at me. I wished he would look away, so that I could breathe.
“How am I a human? How am I a human if I could gladly kill you or anyone else at any moment?”
“Then kill me! If you’re such an animal kill me now.” I dared him, knowing it was impossible and the fact that I was proving my point was only making him more upset. His eyes were clouded with sorrow, sorrow that dulled the vibrancy of the gold in them. He went to move away but I put my arms on either side of him to prevent escape. He turned that sorrowed gaze back to me as punishment.
“You’re human because you care enough about James and Peter and Lily and me to let us be around you even when you could hurt us. You’re human because you love us enough to let us love you. Because of what you are, only means that you’re love is ten times better than any regular human. You’re willing to love us despite the fact that you could kill us, and that only makes us feel even more special to you. That’s why I love you.” I knew what I said, what those demons had managed to sneak out with my other words, I felt the shock at myself while the words were coming from my mouth, and I knew he caught it too because his eyes had flickered mild confusion. As if he was wondering if he had heard correctly. I forced myself to continue talking to hopefully make it seem that those words were insignificant.
“That’s why James loves you. That’s why Peter loves you. And that’s why Lily will love you even more than she already does when you tell her. So stop being selfish and let us love you.” The silence afterwards was filled with harsh breathes, both of us heavy with adrenaline from the argument, and me from the fear of the information that I had let slip from my lips. His eyes had changed as I spoke, from that slight look of confusion to understanding. But once I stopped talking a new look took over him. His face bore the look of a hidden conflict in his mind, one that I watched for far too long before I force one hand to fall from the wall and went to walk away.
This time Remus grabbed, taking a grip around my forearm. I panicked, resisting from pulling away but being thoroughly aware of the three scars that his fingers fell over through the fabric of my shirt. I wasn’t even thinking of how he was pulling me back, not until he pushed off the wall slightly to connect his lips with mine.
It was so quick. Before I knew it his lips were gone, his back returning to the wall, leaving me completely breathless. Shocked.
He didn’t leave. He just, leaned there, his hand still around my forearm, slightly looser but still there. Waiting.
I had to be a fool to keep his waiting.
I placed my free hand on the wall by his head to steady myself as I leaned into him, pausing for a moment less than an inch away when he had drawn in a breath quickly, gauging if he was going to let me, or if his actions had been a mistake. He didn’t say anything, or made any movement at all, so I moved forward to touch his lips once more.
He accepted me willingly, his hand tightening around my forearm as he moved his head off the wall and pushed into my timid kiss more, urging me to deepen. I did, stepping slightly closer and pulling my arm that he had a grip on away from him to hold around his neck.
His smell was over whelming, making the demons scream for more. Dusty like books and earthy like the forest, that wild scent faded more than the last time I had noticed it. They wanted to sense it, I wanted to sense it, that untamed part of him, that wildness. He opened his mouth and I touched my tongue over his, and there it was. Concentrated, a taste with no description. A taste of the animal he was.
No, he wasn’t an animal. He was so very human.
It was too much, their yells to push deeper. I pulled away for air, to calm myself, to shut them up, to bring myself back to the world. But I left him too long. The air that calmed me also brought him back to earth. Brought him back to his head full of worries. And I watched the panic hit his lidded eyes.
I tried to move to him again but he turned his head and guided my hand away from his neck before escaping from between me and the wall. I didn’t follow him. I just let my forehead touch the cold stone wall, urging my breath to keep coming in and out.
Their yells were relentless.
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