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Chapter 9 : Summers--Part 2
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Remus yawned wearily, stretching his aching body. His yawn turned into a groan of pain as one of the large cuts he was sporting made itself known sharply. Remus sat up and breathed slowly and deeply, eyes closed, concentrating on not passing out from the pain. He stood stiffly after a few minutes, examining himself as he did so. He wished that Madam Pomfrey could appear right there in his room, if even for five minutes. She'd have him fixed in a flash, and then he could sleep for the rest of the day. Remus found himself grinning at the irony of wanting Madam Pomfrey of all people there at the moment: He was in pain, yes, but the potions she fed him were truly foul.
Remus made his way up the stairs, yawning slightly. He felt better than he had when he'd woken up................................. well, happier, anyway. He'd have to tell James, Sirius, and Peter about his odd wish for Madam Pomfrey when he saw them next: No doubt they'd start laughing. Remus wanted to laugh as well, but knew it'd hurt too much. Remus found himself frowning as Lucy appeared in his mind, grinning and laughing along with them. Lucy didn't know Remus' secret, as per Remus' wishes. Though they didn't speak of it, Remus knew that James, Sirius, and Peter must feel as rotten as he did every time they lied to Lucy about Remus' secret. Lucy never lied to them, never hesitated to answer one of their questions. Sure, Lucy never asked them why they were lying to them, or what they were hiding, but still. The only reason Lucy never asked was because she knew how uncomfortable it'd make the four of them feel. Because she knew they were lying: Remus could see it in her eyes. She knew they were lying to her, and still never asked. The thought of this made Remus' heart swell with both pain and happiness. Lucy trusted them, believed in them, even though they constantly lied to her. Remus felt an indescribable amount of sadness well up inside of him as he realized how Lucy must feel every time they lied to her: As if they didn't trust her.
Remus shook his head fiercely, pain shooting through him as he did so. He embraced the pain for the moment, wanting to force the tears burning in his eyes away with the thoughts of Lucy. He knocked on the door he knew was locked on the other side, calling out to his parents as he did so.
"Mum! Dad! It's okay! You can open the door now!" Remus felt glad that he could keep his voice from shaking. This had become a monthly thing now, and the days in which his young self would be crying and shaking were long over. There were muffled footsteps and the sounds of locks being opened. Remus waited a few moments before opening the door, taking a deep breath and steeling himself against the fear he knew he'd see in his parents' eyes. Even though it still hurt as much as that first full moon so long ago, Remus had learned to ignore them by now. He saw his father putting the locks in a box that sat atop a small table that stood beside Remus' door. The locks only came out of the box once a month then were hidden away as if to hide Remus' situation from his parents' minds. Remus frowned and headed for the kitchen.
Whit wouldn't ask about it. He thought sadly, feeling a stronger pain than that of his wounds resurfacing within himself as he poured himself some cereal, not caring that it was past noon. Whit would ignore everything--even if she sitting outside my door all night long. She'd be all cheerful and happy, not even questioning it when she saw me all covered in blood and stuff. She'd leave me alone, knowing I wouldn't want to talk about it. She'd pretend to believe whatever lie I gave her. She'd just ask me if I was alright and hug me like she always does. She'd make sure I healed okay, then she'd stick to me like glue, just like she does every month after I come back. Just to make sure I would be alright. Just to make sure I knew she was there if I needed her. Just to make sure that I knew that she.......................... she cared about me. Remus felt tears filling his eyes and rubbed at them angrily, hating himself for lying so blatantly to one of his best friends. Lucy was always there for him, no matter what. Even when Remus wasn't acting all crazy, she was always there. She was his friend. Lucy was one of Remus' best friends in the world, and it felt like all he ever did was lie to her.
Remus swirled the milk left in his bowl guiltily, pain stabbing at his heart. He wanted to tell Lucy, to end all the lies, but he just couldn't. He didn't want her to get hurt, or put her life in danger for him. She would, too, if she found out. Even if she didn't get an animal nickname out of it, she'd go with them. Remus knew Lucy, and he knew that she could be one of the stubborn, hard headed people anyone would ever meet. How many times did James, Sirius, Peter, and even Lily tell Lucy to stay away from Remus when he was in one of his moods? And she never listened, not once. It had gotten to the point that Lucy didn't even bother to pay attention to them anymore, once they got started. She would ignore them without a trace of guilt or shame, every time. It made Remus feel loved, yes, but it caused him to feel such heartache as well.
Remus leaned back in his seat, both his half empty bowl of milk and pain forgotten. He closed his eyes and pictured Lucy. He remembered the look on her face on the train ride home. She hadn't been happy at all, not in the least. Remus sighed sadly, concerned. He wondered what it was that Lucy was worried about. Was it possible that she, too, had her own secret, one that no one knew about? If she was hiding something, Lily didn't know about it, that was for sure. It was obvious, especially once Remus saw how confused Lily was on the train. Whatever had been troubling Lucy was something that she hadn't spoken about to Lily, either.
So what was it? Remus opened his eyes, frowning at the ceiling. What could possibly be so................................ so bad, that Lucy felt the need to hide it from her friends? Remus felt as though whatever she was hiding couldn't possibly be as bad as what he was, but it still had to be pretty horrible if Lucy of all people felt the need to hide it from them. As far as Remus could tell, Lucy hid nothing from he, James, Sirius, Peter, and Lily. Well, when they asked, anyway. That was when Remus realized just how little he actually knew about Lucy. His eyes widened in surprise as he sat up straight in his chair. What did he know about his only girl best friend? Besides what he saw every day, besides the things that anyone and everyone knew about her? Remus bit his lip as he tried to think, feeling worse and worse every passing second. It seemed as if Remus knew nothing about Lucy. He didn't know her favorite color, her birthday, nothing. He knew James, Sirius, and Peter's favorite colors, birthdays, and much, much more. But he knew basically nothing about Lucy. Remus felt tears of shame pricking at his eyes as he realized that Lucy knew absolutely everything about he and the guys, as well as Lily.................................. Well, everything but the secrets Remus, James, Sirius, and Peter shared, but those didn't really count, not right now.
Remus stood suddenly, picking up his bowl and dumping it into the sink. He felt sick all of the sudden and found himself wondering whether or not his stomach would be able to hold his breakfast down. Remus took care of and dressed his wounds mechanically, not thinking about anything, his mind filled with pictures of Lucy. He didn't speak to his parents, not even seeing the concern in their eyes as they watched their suddenly mute son return to his room, shutting the door firmly behind him. Remus spent the entire day sitting on his bed, unable to rest, legs crossed and head in his hands. He refused to cry, but the guilt was literally eating him up inside. Remus thought about his entire first year at Hogwarts, going over each and detail until he confirmed the fact he was horrible friend to Lucy. All those chances he'd had, all those times he and Lucy had hung out together, alone............................... All those times in which he could've asked something about her, he'd wasted. Instead, Lucy had spent that time asking about him, genuinely curious about him. She'd really wanted to know about Remus, and he'd told her, feeling slightly surprised but eternally happy. He'd never thought to ask about Lucy. Not once did it ever enter Remus' mind to ask the girl about herself, although he'd been curious. Remus had wondered, asked questions to himself, but they passed through his mind quickly and were forgotten. Lost, like the year was. Remus was close to Lucy, yes: They were best friends. But in truth he knew as little about Lucy as his parents knew about him.
Well, he'd just have to fix that, now wouldn't he?
Remus spent the next few days writing an insanely long letter to Lucy, before he realized that his parents had let his uncle borrow the family owl for the summer. Instead of shouting like he so desperately wanted to, Remus groaned and locked himself in his room, ripping up his letter in a fit of frustration. It was full of questions, things he wanted to know about Lucy. But would he be able to send it? No. Remus shredded the letter, mentally cursing himself for not buying his own owl at Diagon Alley. He doubted that James, Sirius, or Peter would think to send Lucy a letter, as Remus was usually the first to realize such things. They'd think about her, obviously, but other than that Remus knew they'd do nothing else. Remus knew that they wouldn't think to write to Lucy, or ask her questions about herself. They probably didn't even realize that none of them knew anything about Lucy! Remus groaned again.
"What's it gonna take?!" He asked out loud, throwing his hands up and getting silence in return. Remus huffed angrily, frowning deeply, before getting up off of his bed and jerking his shoes on. He stormed up out of his room and left his house completely. Remus stalked around his neighborhood irritably, each step stating how frustrated he was, he turning and heading to the woods in his backyard after just leaving the neighborhood. He had nothing to do, nothing to think about but Lucy, which only made him angrier at himself. He wasn't angry at Lucy: How could he be? Lucy wasn't the type to talk about herself out of nowhere, instead always asking about her friends. She answered whatever questions that she was asked, but never actually offered up information about herself. And on the off chance she did, it was a rare occasion indeed.
It was strange, actually, how thinking about Lucy both ignited Remus' anger and cooled it all at once. It was as if thinking of her made him feel as if she were walking beside him. Lucy was really the only person who'd been able to keep Remus from exploding every month, so it seemed almost instinctive for Remus to think of her to calm down. And why not? Lucy was the unofficial official peacemaker of the group. She was the one that kept the four of them from getting in trouble, kept Lily from murdering James in his sleep. She was the one that could laugh at everything and anything, the one that could make any bad mood or foul thought go away. Lucy was the one that kept Remus, James, Sirius, and Peter from getting expelled, as well as failing. Lucy was the one that, for lack of better words, took care of them, as well as Lily. Though Lucy had yet to say it and the boys might never admit it, they all knew how much Lucy loved them. It was obvious, really: Everyone at Hogwarts knew that Lucy had a soft spot when it came to the trouble makers. Even Lily couldn't deny it. It was as if Lucy's love of the four boys was an unspoken but universal knowledge at Hogwarts. Something that no one spoke of or outwardly knew about, but realized nonetheless.
Remus grinned a little to himself, previous anger forgotten. He thought about what Lucy might say, should she be walking with him. It seemed crazy for Remus to be pretending to speak with an imaginary Lucy, but he couldn't help it. He'd become so used to having Lucy around him when he was angry that he didn't realize he was doing it.
So what's up, Fox? Lucy asked, Remus hearing her speak in his mind, almost seeing her walking beside him. How's your summer been?
"Boring." Remus said instinctively, lying even to this imaginary Lucy. "Nothing out of the ordinary, anyway." There. That was better. His imaginary Lucy cocked her head up at him, before nodding slowly and turning her eyes foreword.
You must be bored then, huh Fox? She asked, to which Remus sighed and nodded.
"Yeah, I am. I have nothing to do all day long and spend every day wandering around my house. I miss Hogwarts. At least at Hogwarts I was never bored. There was classes and work to worry about, as well as pranks to pull and James, Sirius, and Peter there. The year went by too fast. I can't even do magic, which is really annoying, seeing as we've been doing nothing but learning how to all year." Remus turned his head slightly to see what Lucy's reaction would be to his short rant. Lucy just shrugged, looking over at him with a smile.
It's only a couple months, Fox. She said, laughing happily. Not doing magic is annoying, yeah, but it's better to not do magic for a few months than get expelled and never do it again, you know. Remus sighed and nodded at the sense Lucy made. And if you got expelled, who would be the mastermind behind those pranks?
"You, obviously." Remus shot back jokingly, smiling. Lucy grinned and crossed her eyes at the taller boy, sticking her tongue out as well.
Yeah, cause I want Lily to kill me, right? Remus laughed. I can just imagine it now! Lily asking me first of all how in the world Remus John Lupin of all people got kicked out of Hogwarts for illegal magic making, then asking me how James, Sirius, and Peter have yet to stop pranking! She will then find out it's me, and-- Lucy stopped, pretending to kill herself, making Remus laugh even harder.
"J-James and S-Sirius think of pranks, too, you know!" He gasped, to which Lucy just shrugged and grinned.
Yeah, but you're the one that makes them work, Fox. Lucy's face became serious all of the sudden. Don't think you aren't important, Remus. Because you are. For more than pranks, too. Don't you dare think that we don't need you, or that we'd be better off without you around. We all love and care about you a lot, and if the guys ever found out that you thought like that, they'd be devastated. Remus' eyes grew wide and he took a step back. Lucy didn't move, just looked at him with sadness and determination in her eyes. You're smart, Remus, but you can be awfully dumb sometimes. Don't you know how much you mean to everyone? You are just as important to me as Lily, James, Sirius, and Peter are. You're as much my best friend as they are. Just because you have something to hide, just because you refuse to trust me with it, doesn't mean I hate or think any less of you. I trust you, Remus. Why can't you just believe me? It doesn't matter what you know about me or what you don't. Am I your best friend?
"Y-yes, Whit. Of course you are." Remus said, nodding frantically, feeling confused. Lucy smiled at him, stepping closer and patting his arm comfortingly.
Well than why won't you believe that you're mine? Lucy asked, before turning suddenly and looking out in the direction they came, towards the edge of the woods. Your parents love you, you know, Remus. She said, nodding and smiling softly at the confused boy. They just don't know what to do. They're lost. You've got to forgive them, Remus. It'll get better soon enough. Lucy stretched, yawning widely then shaking her head. Oh, and before I go............................. Lucy threw her arms around Remus, hugging him tightly and squeezing him. Remus, stunned, hugged her back. He was both amazed and confused to find that she felt solid. Lucy let him go and stepped back. You'd do well to remember what I told you, Mr. Lupin. Lucy said, grinning. Everything would be better for you if just realize that you're worth worlds more than you think. Trust me on this one. Lucy said with a wink and an even larger grin.
Remus rubbed his eyes fiercely and took a closer look at Lucy, who seemed to be fading right before his eyes, and fast. Remus looked past her and saw the rising sun. As the light went through Lucy, she faded even faster. Remus, though shocked and confused, realized both the meaning and improbability of this situation.
See you in September, Fox. Lucy said with a final wave as she disappeared. Remus stood there, frozen, watching the sun rise slowly, unable to believe what just happened................................................
But unable to believe that it didn't.
Remus spent the rest of the time he had in his house trying to find out how Lucy could have possibly come to him that impossible night, how she could've known he'd needed her there. Remus spent all his time trying to understand how it had happened. He wasn't able to understand, wasn't able to find one possible way that it could've happened, not even in his school textbooks. Remus hadn't dreamt it, that was for sure. When he'd gotten home, Remus could actually smell Lucy on his shirt. And she'd felt solid. She had actually been there. Remus had even gone back out into the woods and seen two sets of footsteps walking into it, and one leaving it.
Once Remus confirmed that it had happened, though how he didn't know, he began trying to see her again. Every night he'd try to find out what, exactly, had made Lucy come to him so, but every night nothing happened. No matter what happened, Lucy didn't come back. Remus reasoned that she had said she'd see him in September.............................. not that it helped. At all. It was just so confusing. But then again, so was Lucy. No matter how straightforward Lucy was, when one tried to understand her, confusion was imminent. It was as if they weren't meant to understand Lucy, not completely. Remus found that, though not understanding something was deathly annoying, he didn't mind. Not when it came to Lucy. Remus had needed Lucy that night, and, against all odds, she'd come. She'd always been there for him, and she was there for him again. When he truly needed her to be. It was an amazing thought, an amazing revelation that cleared Remus' troubled mind.
Hadn't Lucy always known when Remus needed her? And hadn't she always come, one way or another? So why was it so hard to believe that Lucy had somehow found a way to be there for him once more? It wasn't, actually, and that brought a large smile to Remus' face. It wasn't hard to believe, that Lucy had come to help him.
So maybe Remus wasn't meant to understand Lucy and all her secrets. So maybe she did have some secrets. So Remus might never know as much about her as she did him. So what? Did it really matter? No, it didn't. Remus' smile grew wider. Nothing mattered, except the wonderful fact that, against all odds, Lucy was his best friend.
It wasn't long after this that Remus got an invite to stay over James' house. He asked his parents and they said yes immediately, Remus ignoring the relief that spread over their faces with practiced ease. He packed his things hastily, making sure he didn't leave anything important behind. Not like there was much important stuff he could leave behind just by going to visit James' house. It wasn't like he was heading off to Hogwarts, after all. The only thing that made him hesitate slightly in his bedroom doorway was the thought of Lucy. James didn't say anything about her in the letter, but Remus instinctively knew that she hadn't been invited. It was nothing personal, of course, because Lucy was as much James' friend as Remus, Sirius, and Peter was. And Remus knew that James probably thought about Lucy just as much he did. But, also like Remus, James didn't think of Lucy. She was always there in their minds, true, but at the same time they didn't think of her. It was hard to explain and didn't make a shred of sense, but it was true. It was almost like how Remus was with asking Lucy questions about herself. He always thought about it but never actually did anything about it.
Remus winced as he thought of how badly the four boys treated their only girl best friend. It wasn't on purpose that they did this, but they still did it. And Lucy still stuck by them, even though she could've been friends with whoever she wanted.
It was exactly as Lucy herself had said, that forever ago: She was too nice to them.
Peter felt at the back of his neck nervously, remembering what had almost happened on the train ride home and thanking Merlin and whatever other deity that'd sent Lucy to stop that crazed sixth year. He'd almost had a heart attack, although the box of Bertie Botts' had helped clam him down some. He felt an embarrassed smile creep across his features as he remembered playing with Lucy's hair. He knew perfectly well that not even Sirius would mention that incident. Peter felt his face pale as he remembered the scare the four boys had gotten when Lucy read loud from her Transfiguration book. No doubt all of them had shared the same panicked thought then.
But it was a useless thought, Peter reassured himself, because Lucy still didn't know. It was ironic--and somewhat worrying--when Peter thought of how smart Lucy was. She was so much smarter than all of them--even Lily, though that wasn't proven yet--but she still hadn't figured out the quartet's secrets. Or--and here Peter frowned deeply--had she? Lucy was smart: What if she knew? What if she had a secret similar to theirs?
Peter shook his head and wandered down to the table for lunch. James, Sirius, and Remus were always saying that there was no way on Earth that Lucy could find out. After all, not even Lily knew what was going on! True, Lucy was much closer to the four boys than Lily was, but Lily watched them very closely, forever suspicious of them. And with good reason, what with all the pranks they pulled. Peter grinned as he thought of a joke Lucy had made once, upon catching the four returning from one of their pranks. "It'll be a miracle if you don't bring the school down by the time we graduate!" She'd said it in a very Lily-like way, though the sparkle in her eyes had been so very like the one James got in his eyes whenever he was feeling particularly mischievous.
James was Peter's idol; his opposite in near every way. James was outgoing where Peter was shy. James was smart whereas Peter was always behind, needing James, Sirius, and Remus' help all the time. Oh, and Lucy's................................... Especially Lucy, who was always so kind and patient with him, even when his own friends gave up on him. Lucy, who knew when Peter didn't understand a joke and hung back, waited for a time when they were alone, to explain it to him so he could mean it when he laughed, too. Lucy, who always defended him fiercely, against anyone who dare hurt him. Lucy, who could be friends with anyone, yet chose them.....................................
Lucy, who was too good to be real.
"I want you to tell me a story, Peter." Lucy said cheerily, smiling at the surprised boy.
"A story, Whit?" He asked, confused. She nodded.
"But................. why me? Why not James, or Sirius, or Remus?" Lucy laughed.
"Because I want a story from you, silly!" She exclaimed. "I think you'd be a good storyteller, and I want you to tell me a story! Please?" Peter nodded hesitantly, unsure whether or not Lucy was joking, although he knew she wouldn't mess with Peter's head as James, Sirius, and Remus liked to. He knew she meant what she said, which only confused the boy more. "It can be about anything." Lucy said quickly, sensing Peter's worry. "It doesn't need to be real or something. Make it up, I don't care. Just close your eyes and tell me what you see. Or better yet......................" Lucy climbed to her feet and took out her wand, pointing at the floor between them carefully. A small fire erupted from the tip of her wand, landing between them. It didn't spread and didn't burn, though it looked real enough to do both. She sat on one side, face Peter through the fire.
"Concentrate, Pete." She murmured, eyes locked on the fire. "Let your mind wander and tell me what you see; whether on your eyelids or in this fire. Tell me a story. Make it all your own, make it a part of you. Take a deep breath and breathe." Lucy gave Peter a warm, kind smile. "Tell me a story, Pete."
Peter did as he was told, though his cheeks were stained red from embarrassment at what he thought was a stupid thing to do. What story was he supposed to come up with? He was never good at essays, why would this be any easier? And not only that, but he didn't want to disappoint Lucy, who seemed to have so much faith in him and whatever she thought it was he could do.
Just as Peter was opening his mouth to apologize, something about the fire caught his eye. It was quite simple, actually, just a slight pop and a spark floating upwards lazily. And yet it caught his attention like nothing had before, almost enthralling him as he watched it descend slowly as if burned out. Without even the smallest of thoughts, Peter began speaking, his words weaving their own type of magic as he told Lucy a story. He wasn't sure what was happening, or how it was that he was speaking so eloquently, but Peter honestly suspected Lucy of doing something to him.
It was quiet for a long time after Peter finished telling his story, the fire slowly dying out as Peter wound down. As he spoke his last word, the fire burned out completely; a candle extinguished by his breath.
"That was beautiful, Pete." Lucy said quietly, getting to her feet and stretching, smiling down at him. She stuck out a hand and helped the boy up to his feet. "I knew you'd be a natural storyteller. It was like I was really there; I almost believed that you were telling me the truth about something." Lucy cocked her head at him suddenly. "It was made up, wasn't it, Pete? Or did that all really happen?" Peter shook his head.
"No, I................ I just made it up as I went along." Lucy beamed at him and nodded cheerily, happy for her friend.
"That's awesome, Pete. Did you ever think of becoming an author or something? You have a gift, you know." Lucy informed him, hands deep in her pockets. Peter was speechless, knowing Lucy would never lie to him--or any of her friends--and about something so trivial as a mere talent. No, Lucy was the exact opposite: If she honestly liked something, she loved it. She said what she thought quite simply, in that innocent way of hers: She never lied.
"Why not? You're good." Lucy asked. Peter stared at her in disbelief. Instead of defending herself as some might, Lucy merely cocked her head at her friend, wordlessly asking him if he honestly believed her to be lying. No able to answer this, Peter looked away from his only girl best friend, face red.
"Tomorrow," Lucy informed Peter, breaking the silence, "I am going to give you something that I want you to read and critique for me. Okay?" Peter nodded, wondering what Lucy meant.
The next morning, just before they entered the Great Hall, Lucy stopped Peter and handed him a thick wad of parchment. Her eyes shone and sparkled with undeniable excitement, and Peter spent the entire day reading. It was a story; quite possibly the best he'd ever read...................... Not that he read often, but still. Peter was so caught up in the story that he didn't notice how Lucy kept him from getting in trouble during classes and slipped copies of her notes into his backpack as the left each class. Peter read and read and read; all day and night, straight through meals. The next morning, Peter's face was flushed with excitement and wonder as he pulled Lucy to a side right before they entered the Great Hall.
"Whit!" He exclaimed, clutching the story tightly. "This may be the single greatest thing I've ever read! How did you come up with this?!"
"I didn't." Lucy said, laughing happily. "You did, just yesterday. All I did, was write it down! It took me a while, but I got it all word for word!" She gave him a cheeky grin and a wink, before turning and skipping off into the Great Hall, leaving the completely stunned boy behind to gape after her.
The two didn't speak about Peter's story much after that; not at all, actually. There seemed to be a silent agreement between the pair that it would remain but a shared memory between them. Lucy had given Peter reign over the situation: If he wanted to speak with her about his story, fine. If not, then she would leave him be and pretend to forget that it'd ever happen.
Peter grinned involuntarily as he fingered the thick wad of parchment covered in Lucy's handwriting. So much more legible than his own messy scrawl. He knew that Lucy had purposefully labeled him a 'storyteller' instead of an author because of the simple fact that the poor boy was never able to put his thoughts down on paper. And even if he did, it was likely he'd not be able to read it later, or forget it instantly. Peter remembered everything that he'd ever said, though. It was odd, really, how perfect his memory was in certain areas, and how horrible in others. Peter literally could not be a writer, but a storyteller seemed to be perfect. And--for he knew she'd do it if he asked--Lucy could always copy down his stories as he spoke them. She wrote wicked fast and managed to keep it perfectly presentable, so she'd no doubt be the ideal person to help him out. Not only that, but Lucy wouldn't ridicule Peter for all the money in the world.
Peter tapped the papers thoughtfully, frowning. He'd shown it to his parents a few nights after he got home. They'd read it together and loved it to no end, asking who had written the story. They doubted it was him, as they could not only read what was written, but because Peter had never shown any interest or talent in writing. Peter told them that one of his friends had written it for him, which wasn't a complete lie........................... But now he was wondering whether or not he should tell them he'd actually made it up. How would they react, if they found out.
Peter made a face, shaking his head. They'd probably ask if he was telling the truth, then get all excited and make a big, insane fuss over it. It'd be downright horrible in every way, and he could already feel himself getting sick at the thought. No, Peter wasn't going to tell his parents anything about his storytelling abilities. Peter put the wad of parchment in a box, which he promptly slid under his bed. As he went to stand up, he noticed an odd glow emitting from the box. He frowned and reached under his bed, sliding the box back out despite his initial fear and caution. He opened the lid slowly, face the picture of surprise when he saw a sheet of what looked to be Muggle paper staring up at him innocently. He lifted it off of his story and put the lid back on, staring at the paper as he climbed onto his bed.
Peter read the short note slowly, a couple times, letting it sink in. It seemed to be a note from Lucy herself. He sat back against his bed, note forgotten in his hand as he thought about what he'd just read. It seemed as though Lucy had anticipated Peter's sudden decline in self-confidence, knew somehow that he'd begin to think she'd tricked him, after all. Indeed, that was exactly how the boy had been feeling as of late. He'd never done anything pass manageable.................................. To do something truly spectacular was just something he could not conceive as possible or true. And yet there it was, right in his hand, the truth from Lucy herself, the one person he knew would downright never lie. Especially not for something as trivial as a story. No, if Lucy had anything to do with this story of Peter's--except prompting him to begin it--she would've said it instead of letting him think it as his own creation.
Peter felt a smile twitch at his lips as he carefully folded Lucy's note in half twice before putting it back in the box it'd appeared in with his story. He carefully took the box and placed it on the highest shelf in his closet, all the way in the back, having to climb upon a chair to reach. He hid it behind some of the miscellaneous junk he had up there, careful to be sure that it was unnoticeable.
His parents called him then, and they went out for the rest of the day.
Peter got a letter from James a while after that day, agreeing to visit his friend the moment his parents gave him the okay. As he watched James' owl fly back in the direction it had came, he couldn't help but smile. He felt overjoyed that James had chosen to include him, remembered him, but at the same time he felt a tiny pinprick of pride as he thought about his story. He might not be perfect like his three best friends were, but he had something, right? He had his secret something and the person who kept it secret; Lucy. It was weak ground he was standing on, Peter knew, but he also knew that--as long as Lucy was around--the imaginary ground he was on would be far safer than any of the real Earth below his feet.
Peter knew that these few incidents wouldn't change his life, or his character, but they gave him happiness, as Lucy did, so he let it be for the moment.
Sorry for the long wait I'm still trying to balance and handle my life some. I know it's a weak excuse and all, but it's true. The only reason you all had to wait so long, really, is because of an ill-timed writer's block and a new story up. Well, that and everything else that I won't put here. Anyways, I appreciate the patience a lot and thanks to all my reviewers who make me happy and encourage me when I'm feeling down! The next chapter is done already and is longer, so the update will be that much faster! "Welcome Home Lucy.................. And Hello Lily" is the title, which is a ginormous hint right there.
Bye til next time!
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