Chapter 12 : Our Last Day
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All good things come to an end! To be honest, everything comes to an end eventually, good or bad. But we probably notice them more if they’re the good things. Having said that, though, sometimes things don’t end with a full stop. Some things just change. You end up not quite sure what happened, when it happened or whether it was for the best or not.
I woke up early. I knew what day it was. It was it, the last day of my life, as I knew it. I lay for a long time staring at the hangings above my bed. This was the last time I would stare at the hangings above this bed, ever!
I tried to think back over all the interesting things I had done this year, all the friends I had made, all the things I had learnt, but all that really came to mind was Lupin. I had made friends with him (more than friends!) and I had learnt so much about him as well. So school was over, I just hoped against hope that we wouldn’t be over as well.
‘ELI!’ Reika came crashing through my drapes in her pyjamas. ‘Can you believe it? It’s today! Oh! I don’t want to leave! They can’t make me!’
We cuddled up together. ‘I’m pretty sure they could. Anyway, don’t you feel ready? I almost feel like it’s time to move on.’
Reika sighed. ‘Yes, I suppose so. But I’m going to miss you!’
‘Yes,’ I said, glumly. ‘I’m going to miss you too.’
Reika would be working for her father in Japan for at least the next few years. Though she promised she’d Apparate to see me whenever she could!
I saw Remus at breakfast.
The Great Hall was alive with excitement, everyone was buzzing about going home and the holidays. Still, Sirius’ voice managed to make itself heard above everyone else.
‘OI! EATON! GET OVER HERE!’ he yelled from the Gryffindor table.
For every head that turned to stare at me I felt my face grow a degree hotter. I grudgingly got to my feet and walked over to the Marauders.
‘I hate you,’ I told Sirius, batting him around the head.
‘Nah, you don’t, honey,’ he insisted. ‘We all know you’re only pretending to be in love with Moony so you can hide the deep passion between us two.’
I pulled a face at Remus who was laughing from the other side of the table. Why did Sirius have to say I was in love with Remus? I wondered furiously. That was probably the only thing we hadn’t discussed as a couple. Not that I hadn’t thought about it… but he was clearly not ready.
‘You wish,’ Lily sniggered. ‘You all packed and ready to leave, Elina?’
‘Yes, to the first but still not sure about the second.’
‘I can’t wait to leave!’ Peter cried. ‘I hate school.’
Sirius reached across him and grabbed some toast. ‘Yeah, but that’s because you’re an idiot.’
‘So, Sirius,’ I said, rounding on him. ‘Did you want me for something or were you just taking this last opportunity to embarrass me publicly.’
‘Oh no, I’m sure I will still have plenty of other opportunities to do that…’
‘Lily wanted to ask you something,’ James explained.
Lily scowled at him. ‘You wanted to as well! It wasn’t just me!’
‘Yeah, but it was your idea.’
‘I didn’t yell her over here!’
‘It’s not as though Padfoot can explain anything.’
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ Sirius interjected.
‘Alright, alright! Just tell me already!’ I laughed. ‘My eggs will be getting cold.’
‘Well,’ Lily began slowly, ‘we were discussing how little we really knew about Hogwarts and how there’s so much of it we’ll never get to see…’
‘Lily wants to have a look around Hufflepuff Cellar before we leave,’ Sirius said, all in one breath. ‘See! Perfectly explained.’
‘Not just me!’ Lily looked anxiously up at me. ‘Could you give us a tour? It may be the last time we’re at Hogwarts – ever!’
‘When you say everyone I’m assuming you don’t mean the whole of Gryffindor…’
‘No! No! Just the Marauders and I… and Sarah and Persephone.’
I laughed. ‘Well, I guess it’s only fair after you showed us Gryffindor Tower.’
‘Obviously Moony just wants to see where you sleep so he can imagine it better later,’ Sirius said.
‘Since he gave you such a thorough tour of our dormitory the other day,’ James muttered.
‘I’m going to go finish my breakfast!’ I said, my voice verging on hysterical. Everyone laughed.
Remus got to his feet as I began to walk back and gave me a quick kiss.
‘I can’t believe you told them about that. I’m so mad at you,’ I told him.
‘No, you’re not,’ he told me, giving me another kiss.
‘You’re right, I’m not. But I would be if I wasn’t so in – if you weren’t so lovely.’
Oh my gosh! I had almost said I was in love with him! I wanted to bite my tongue off. I can’t just say that! He has to say it first! Did he realise what I’d meant? He was giving me that undecipherable smile… Damn it!
He didn’t say anything but he did kiss me again, a proper kiss.
Ugh, I thought to myself, as I walked back to my seat. I can’t believe I almost said that…
Half an hour later and several people who did not belong there were crawling into the Hufflepuff common room.
‘You’ll have to be quick,’ Gav said, who had a rucksack on his back and looked ready to leave. ‘The train will be going soon.’
‘Wow! It’s quite small, isn’t it?’ Sarah said, gazing around herself in visible wonder. Then she caught my eye. ‘I mean, in a homely way.’
Sirius was bouncing up and down on a sofa. ‘These are way comfier than ours! We should’ve complained, Prongs!’
‘You don’t have any windows, though!’ Lily said. ‘That must’ve driven you crazy!’
‘I never really thought about it, to be honest,’ I told her.
Remus was standing behind me with his arms around my shoulders. He bent down and whispered in my ear, ‘so can I have a look in your room?’
I giggled. ‘Boys aren’t allowed in the girl’s dormitories. There’s a spell that stops them getting down the stairs.’
‘You know this from personal experience?’ Remus enquired.
‘Of course not! I was a portrait of innocence before I got to know you!’
‘Well, I am a creature of the night, what can I say?’
I turned around with a grin on my face and touched my lips against his. ‘You are a terrible influence on me…’
‘Egh! Man, you guys are enough to make anyone puke!’
‘Sirius! Don’t pretend you don’t think they’re sweet,’ Lily said.
‘Well, I always knew Moony would end up with a Hufflepuff,’ he commented. ‘And that I’d end up alone!’ He was laughing but when I glanced towards Sirius his eyes were oddly sad.
‘It’s a dog’s life, eh?’ James said with a wink.
‘Ok, we came, we’ve seen, but we really need to go for the train now!’ Persephone said. ‘Come on, guys!’
‘Yes, sir!’ Sirius gave her a salute. ‘You heard her, men! Move out!’
‘Uhm… honey?’ I heard James say as we all filed up towards the entrance hall.
‘Could I have a word?’
I glanced back and saw James ushering Lily into an empty corridor.
‘There’s no time for a quickie now, mate!’ Sirius called.
‘We’ll meet you on the train!’
By the time we made it onto the train it was already packed.
‘It’s alright,’ Sirius assured us, ‘I know several curses that would get rid of first years with minimal mess.’
‘I’m going to find my friends,’ I told Remus. ‘Come and see me in a bit!’
‘How are your friends doing, Elina?’ Sirius asked, attempting nonchalance.
‘You mean Reika?’ I asked with a knowing grin. ‘She’s great!’ I didn’t tell him about the gloomy looks that settled on her when she thought no one was watching or the tears that she sometimes spilt when she thought everyone was asleep.
‘Yeah?’ Sirius seemed a little disappointed.
‘Yeah! Why wouldn’t she be?’
‘No reason, I guess…’
I felt a little guilty for upsetting Sirius but ultimately he only had himself to blame, right? Before I could feel too much sympathy for the devil I ran off in search of the gang.
‘There you are!’ Reika cried when I finally found their compartment. ‘We thought you’d miss the train!’
‘Where’s Gav?’ I asked, shoving my rucksack into the luggage rack and sitting down.
‘With his girlfriend,’ Owain grimaced.
‘Who this time?’
‘Still Cathy,’ Reika said, ‘I think he might actually like her, you know?’
‘Well, she seems nice…’
Owain nodded. ‘Yes, but you’d say that about anyone!’
It felt very strange knowing this was the last time we’d ever be on the Hogwarts Express. We couldn’t seem to stop reminiscing. It was as though by talking about the past we’d somehow slow down the present.
‘Do you remember when we had our first dorm party?’ Owain was saying half an hour into the journey.
Gav, who had returned from his girlfriend’s compartment, grinned. ‘We were so young and naïve.’
‘Yeah, I seem to remember you got “drunk” on two bottles of Butterbeer, Mr O’Conner,’ I laughed.
‘Oh, oh!’ Reika jumped up in her seat. ‘Do you remember when Gav asked Professor McGonagall to marry him?’
Everyone fell about laughing.
‘Reika,’ I said, wiping away tears. ‘That was yesterday!’
‘I know!’ she grinned, ‘But it sure was funny!’
‘I know she wanted it really,’ Gav assured us. ‘You could see it in her eyes.’
‘Oh yes, I’m sure there was great passion,’ Owain patted him on the back.
Just then the door to the compartment slid open.
‘Lupin! Ma man!’ Gav jumped up and clamped Remus on the shoulder. ‘Sit down, mate, sit down!’
Remus looked slightly startled but sat down. ‘I see you are having a good journey.’
‘Sure are!’ Reika giggled. ‘And Gav’s been threatening to break out the Firewhiskey since we left Hogsmeade.’
I nodded. ‘As a Prefect I had to remind him that such things were not allowed.’
‘That’s a lie,’ Gav interjected. ‘She was totally up for it!’
‘I do not doubt it.’
‘The truth is out, mate! The girl you’re in love with is an alcoholic!’
There it was again! The ‘L’ bomb! Why did people keep doing that? People were assuming that we were “in love”! They were assuming that Remus had said that to me, but he hadn’t…
I laughed nervously. Maybe he wouldn’t have noticed…
‘Would you mind if I stole Elina for a few minutes?’ Remus asked. ‘Lily has stated that she needs her.’
‘Would I be allowed to come too?’ Reika asked.
Lupin looked a little shocked and I could understand why. This was Reika Yoshida volunteering to be in the company of Sirius Black. This was unheard of.
‘Urm… well, of course! As far as I am aware our compartment does not as yet have a guest list.’
‘As I see it,’ Reika explained to us, ‘it’s go with you guys or stay here with a gay and a slut.’
‘Aw,’ Gav put his arm around her. ‘You love us really.’
The Marauders’ compartment was pretty crammed so we just lingered by the doorway.
‘Elina!’ Lily grinned. ‘I have a question that needs urgent response!’
Lily seemed cheerful bordering on loopy. ‘Has she been drinking?’ I whispered to Remus but he just smiled.
‘If you had to choose your favourite partner for our NEWT coursework who would it be?’ Lily demanded. ‘Everyone says it would be Remus but I think I know the truth!’
I laughed. ‘Why on earth were you talking about that?’
‘Answer the question, Eaton!’ James commanded.
I thought about it and could come to only one conclusion. ‘Well, obviously my amazing Potion’s partner!’
Everyone but Lily groaned and I heard Persephone say, ‘as if!’
‘Ha ha!’ Lily cried triumphantly. ‘See!
‘I will remember that later,’ Remus muttered in my ear.
‘Lily didn’t seem as upset about leaving Hogwarts as I thought she would be,’ I commented as Reika and I walked back to our compartment.
‘Of course she wasn’t upset!’
Reika paused for a second. ‘Don’t tell me you didn’t see it!’
‘What are you talking about?’
‘Elina, you are the most unobservant person I have ever met.’
‘The ring!’ Reika wiggled her left hand in my face.
‘What? Oh my gosh! Do you mean – No…’
‘But that’s crazy! Wow!’
When we got back to the compartment it was to find Gavin attached to his girlfriend and Owain looking unimpressed on the opposite seat.
‘Oh, thank god you’re back!’ he said when we walked in.
‘I need the loo,’ Reika commented.
‘Don’t leave!’ Owain jumped to his feet. ‘I’m coming to.’
‘Well, I’m not staying with them on my own,’ I indicated my head to the couple who had taken no notice of this exchange.
‘You won’t be on your own,’ Reika proclaimed. ‘I spy with my little eye something beginning with O, B and E.’
‘Obsessed Boyfriend of Elina’s!’
‘Hello,’ Remus said, looking slightly concerned as to why everyone was grinning at him as he walked towards the compartment.
We both sat down as far from Gavin and Cathy as possible.
‘James told me his dad has set me up with a job in the Ministry,’ Remus told me.
I beamed. ‘Oh, well done! That’s great!’
‘It won’t last long of course…’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Everything is going to be different now.’ He suddenly looked more weary than I had ever seen him before. ‘I’d give it a month.’ He tried his best to smile but it turned out as a painful looking grimace.
I hugged him.
It worried me that he saw ending school so much as the end of an era. He didn’t think I was something he had left behind with Hogwarts did he?
Platform 9¾ was teeming with people. It was loud but inside I felt very quiet.
So, this is it, I thought as we stepped off the train.
‘Bye, Eli! I’ll write about the party!’ Gav gave me a quick hug. ‘See you soon.’
‘Bye!’ Owain looked like he was about to cry.
I laughed and gave him a longer hug. ‘I’ll see you next week!’
‘I know…’ He and Gav joined the queue to get out of the barrier.
I turned to Reika.
‘It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it,’ she commented quietly.
I held her close towards me. ‘I’ll see you soon.’
‘Don’t forget to write!’
‘Eli!’ Lily had run over, the Marauders behind her. ‘Are we invited to Gavin’s party next week?’
‘Excellent! I’ll see you there then.’
‘I’ve really got to go,’ I said. ‘My Mum’s waiting…’
Remus took my hand. ‘Goodbye.’
As I looked into his eyes I thought about what he had said earlier. He was right; everything was going to be different from now on. I kissed him then as though it would be the last time.
‘I’ll see you soon,’ I muttered, after reluctantly letting go. ‘Goodbye everyone, bye Lily!’
‘Bye Elina!’ they all chorused as I pushed my trolley away. Mum really was going to be mad, she hated it when she had to wait.
‘I love you!’
Remus was ten feet away but he didn’t come any closer. He looked horrified at what he had just yelled across the platform. I couldn’t help the huge grin that spread across my face though, and seeing it he smiled with visible relief. ‘I love you,’ he confirmed.
I didn’t care that my Mum would be waiting. I didn’t care that hundreds of people were watching. I didn’t care that James and Sirius seemed to be doing some kind of victory dance behind him…
My feet stumbled forwards and I flung my arms around Remus’ neck. After I had squeezed the breath out of him I withdrew. ‘I love you too,’ I whispered breathlessly.
‘Woop! Woop! Woop!’ I heard from Sirius as we kissed.
So that was it. That was the end of my last day of my last term of my last year at Hogwarts. How had it gone? Well, my parents had got divorced, my best friend had got her heart broken and I had started dating a werewolf…
But still, it had been pretty damn fun, right?
^^ hope you enjoyed! I'm really thankful for everyone who's been lovely about my story (even though all the reveiws were lost I still hold them in my heart ;P)
i have a short tonks/lupin one-shot coming up before my next proper story (tonks/lupin also, yey!) i hope you like that one too =D love! xxxx