It’s become something of a hassle, the dare. The reason being that whenever I’m enjoying time with Remus, thinking that we’re getting on really well, the dare floats into my mind and I think about all the lies I have to tell him and the tasks I have to do with him in order to win. And the sad part of this is that I don’t even care about the challenge anymore. He’s quite the charmer.
Some days are harder than others. Mostly when we spend time alone, with the fireplace glowing in our peripheral vision, and the heat that’s radiating from it, it’s very hard to concentrate on conversation. But that’s what we’re based on right now. We haven’t even hugged yet. I’m starting to lose hope, but you never know?
It was almost three o’clock in the afternoon, and yet the sun looked as if it were about to set. I was walking to meet with Remus; yesterday he’d asked if we could talk over by the whomping willow. I’d been hesitant, as this was not a destination I was familiar with, nor formerly intending to visit. It was his half-smile that made my decision, of course.
I was walking down the steps, entering the courtyard with the eagle fountain, when I was harshly pulled to the side by a calloused hand. I almost shrieked, but I was too afraid to. The shadows were just a bit colder than I’d anticipated, and mixed with my fear, the feeling made me shiver.
“I’m not going to hurt you, sorry,” A chuckle from the voice of the aggressor. I looked up; Sirius Black, I should have known. “I just wanted to have a little chat with you.”
“Chat away, sir,” I don’t know why suddenly I was so calm, but I was. It was strange, but I felt at ease with the childlike essence that seemed to be resonating away from Sirius.
“Remus, my brother, he happens to like you,” he said. It was reproachful, as if at any moment he would blurt out that he was kidding. I heeded this, taking care to control my expression, as this could just be a ploy. This didn’t cancel out the fact that on the inside I was dancing with joy and adrenaline. I just nodded meekly. “He’s…well he’s special, Mute, and I don’t really want him to say something to you if you’re not seriously into him. I need to know that I can trust you with him?”
“Look, I like him a lot. Right now, it’s a little awkward for me to be talking to you though.”
“I don’t know, it’s just kind of strange,” I mumbled. He chuckled again, a barking sound. “I trust him more than any guy in…a long time. And I hope he trusts me too; I’d never intentionally hurt him.” Just, you know, seduce him and then potentially break both of our hearts and ruin the remainder of my seventh year on the whim of one mischievous manipulator who happens to be one of my best friends, oh, and the girl who is currently attempting to do the same to you.
He smiled at me, a genuine smile that I never expected to see on his face. “I believe you. Mute…that’s an interesting name.”
“Yeah, I get that a lot,” I beamed. We walked away from the shadows, and pretty soon he was escorting to the whomping willow to meet Remus.
“Do you get a lot of pun jokes, like ‘that Mute sure does talk a lot’?” He asked. I smiled, nodding. “I get those too. Well, not with Mute, of course. People usually say I’m anything but serious.”
We walked, laughing together, him leading the way slightly in front of me. It was close to sunset now, and the sky was painted with beautiful splashes of red, pink, and blue, along with yellows and oranges here and there. I shivered again, wrapping my arms around myself in a strange hug. The snow beneath my feet crunched every step that I took. I liked the sound, letting it take me to memories of snow fights and girlish giggles.
“Sirius? Are you harassing my friend?” Remus’s voice called, waking me from my daydreaming state. I smiled at Remus, wrapped in a maroon jacket, with his Gryffindor scarf tucked in, a true brit.
“Relax, Moony, I’m merely keeping her safe from the wild creatures of these here parts. You’d know all about that, no?” I looked from guy to guy, confused. What on earth? They laughed and then Sirius said goodbye to him, waving. He turned to me and gave me a bear hug, the friendliest guy that I’d probably ever known.
“Bye Sirius.” The sound was muffled by the hug, but he chuckled and retreated once more to the castle, where I’m sure Camilla would be waiting to talk with him and enchant him.
“Beguiling another Marauder? I’m wounded,” Remus laughed, holding his hand to his chest with mock hurt. I beamed, shaking my head and walking over to where he stood. The sky was turning darker by the minute, reminding us that the day would be up soon. The moon was visible just behind some trees, waxing crescent.
“Oh gosh, the moon looks beautiful!” I said without really meaning to. He gave me a very strange look, as if I was on the borderline of insulting him. I looked down, feeling really guilty for no apparent reason.
“There’s a party going on in the common room tonight, do you want to go?” He asked suddenly, changing the subject rather quickly.
“Is that why you wanted me to meet you by the most dangerous tree in history of ever?” I asked. “You wanted to invite me to a party?”
“Okay,” I said, shrugging and smiling. We walked to the castle, ready for supper.
We ate in separate groups, and I was with Lily, trying to convince her that her mean outlook on this entire thing was stupid and impractical. I mean, she treats James like dirt sometimes. I secretly think that she likes him. A lot. But she’s afraid to be a hypocrite, and therefore keeps up a façade.
We arrived back at dorm, and on the way there, I saw Remus sitting in an arm chair. He winked at me, and I smiled brightly back, waving a tiny wave and following Camilla up to the dorm. A few hours passed, and soon most of the girls in our dorm fled to go hook up with guys at the party. I heard most of the people downstairs getting ready, but it seemed as though Camilla and Lily were oblivious.
Lily walked over to her bed, moving the blankets so that it formed a curvy triangle, awaiting the sleeping form of her. I sighed, trying to convey my point.
“Lily, I just think that maybe this isn’t the best idea for you,” I mumbled. She rolled her bright green eyes and climbed into her blankets slowly. I sighed and sat down on my own bed, the comforter feeling comfortable and fluffy, almost convincing me that I should sleep too. But I couldn’t listen to weird enchanting bed dressings; I had a boy to romance.
A few cheers were coming from downstairs—someone had brought alcohol.
“Look who’s talking, Mute,” She snapped. I raised my eyebrows. “Look, no one is going to get hurt but him.”
She sounded an awful like Camilla. I grimaced. That manipulator had already convinced Elsie to flaunt herself all over Peter; she wasn’t going to get Lily too.
“But do you realize how you’re going to feel after you tear up his heart? Lily, Camilla can’t get into your head too! You’re not as nasty as she is!” My voice rang through the dormitory, coating all the surfaces. “Don’t become her.”
The last few words came out weakly, as if I was begging.
“Calm down, gosh. Maybe I am as vile as her?” She spat back. It almost made me laugh that the girl we were talking about was mere feet away, listening.
“I’m trying to sleep. Can you please lower your voices?” She called with a harsh tone. I heard Elsie emit a soft, high pitched snore from the other side of Lily, and chuckled to myself.
“Sorry, Cam,” I shrugged.
“Lily, at least think about him, and what you’re doing to him.” I walked downstairs, slowly. Replaying the entire conversation in my head, I sighed and entered the common room. The students were all scattered, some with drinks and with partners. A few couples were snogging in various areas of the warm room. I felt my lips purse a tiny bit as I thought of Remus and me snogging. How odd? I’d never thought of it before. Would he be gentle, as his countenance? Or wild, as I’d assumed he was underneath everything?
A sudden tap on my shoulder cleared my mind instantly, as I turned and gazed at the person I had been just thinking about. A flush came to my cheeks and I smiled meekly.
“Hey, want a drink?” Remus asked me. I looked up at him, confused.
“Um, no alcohol, please,” I muttered. He started laughing.
“That’s not what I meant,” He chuckled and handed me a cup of pumpkin juice. I accepted as another flush crept onto my face. “Let’s go talk.”
“All right,” I smiled.
Several minutes later, we were playing a game of truth.
“Would you ever cheat on a test?” I asked. The questions had been pretty mundane and frivolous thus far, not amounting to much and definitely not increasing my chances of winning the dare.
“No,” He smirked. “Could you ever love a monster?”
“What kind of monster, exactly?” I asked. This was by far the most intense question.
“I dunno, perhaps a vampire, or a mutilated guy, or…a werewolf?” The last one he said rather quickly. I pursed my lips once again, in deep thought. I emitted a low hmmm as I let my eyes stroll over the faces in the common room. Peter, Roger, Ken, Molly, Trish, Helga, James, Lily…LILY?!
My eyes widened and I saw that she was with James, snogging. Oh my goodness. She was all over him, poor bloke. Remus seemed to notice too, because he stiffened his posture. “Oh…wow.”
“I think I could.” I finally answered.
“What?” He seemingly had forgotten the question.
“I think I could love a monster. If he were humane,” I smiled. His lips smiled, but his eyes showed a different emotion.
“I want to tell you something, but I can’t do it here. Do you want to accompany me to the astronomy tower, malady?” He offered me his arm, and I took it. His skin radiated warmth that I relished. We talked about trivial subjects on the journey, eventually reaching the tower.
It was really dark, but then he turned on some light that I hadn’t seen. Desks and telescopes lined the walls, but the center of the room was devoted to a small square of couches where the class discusses their findings. The couches were empty now.
I took a seat on the closest one, right in front of the largest window I’ve ever seen. Looking over the night sky, I was distracted until Remus sat down closely next to me. The switch to the large light was hanging from the ceiling, and it kept brushing my shoulder—rather annoying.
“What did you want to tell me?” I asked, trying to be as sincere and attractive as possible, contrasting objectives.
“I have a confession. And I’m afraid that it will completely alter that way you see me, and...feel about me. Because, unless I’m terrible at reading people, you like me…I think. And I really like you, Mute. But I think that your feelings for me will be changed after you hear…”
“Remus, you kind of scaring me.”
“Good! You should be scared. When I asked you if you could ever love a monster, it was because I was testing the waters. I didn’t know how to tell you this, and I still don’t. Mute…I’m the monster.”
I stared at him, my mouth agape, my head spinning, “What?”
“I’m a…” He took a very deep breath, and closed his eyes. “I’m a werewolf.”
I blinked radically for a few seconds, registering this information in my mind. It’s sickening, but the first thought that popped up in my mind was ‘how will this affect the dare?’
“I don’t care.” I said quickly. He opened his eyes lightening fast and stared at me.
“How can you not care?” His voice was incredulous.
“Because I like you, and I don’t think I could stay away from you anyway, so what’s in the point in thinking about that? I mean, just because you’re cursed with that terrible syndrome, well…it doesn’t matter. I like you, and you’re human now. That’s all that matters.”
“I could kill you. I could snap your bones, and kill you. That doesn’t bother you?”
“Well, if you make it sound like that…” He cut me off.
“That’s how it is! Mute, I don’t have brains when I transform. I’m just an animal.”
My perverted mind suddenly got the best of me. “An animal? Does that translate to your human self?”
“Well, if I get too angry or…well if I get angry, then yeah. But I don’t have the strength as a human that I do as a werewolf, just the intensity.” I smirked, he obviously didn’t catch on to what I’d been alluding to.
“That explains so much. I mean, you have this wildness about you sometimes. And the scratches…” I smiled at him, and he smiled back, bemused.
I looked into Remus's eyes and somehow saw a kindness that I hadn't anticipated. I knew then that he couldn't hurt me, even if he wanted to. Now, as much as I yearned to turn away and let my face flush from the intensity, but instead I was entranced further by this realization.
I cared for him much more than I should. He smirked suddenly, starting to lean towards me. I closed my eyes, wanting nothing more than to feel his lips on mine. But he didn't kiss me. No, instead, suddenly we were in darkness. I opened my eyes quickly.
The sky in front of me through the large window was suddenly illuminated by the sheer darkness of the room we were in. Remus wrapped an arm around my shoulders, and I looked at him, slightly embarrassed by my expectation that he was going to kiss me earlier. But then he started leaning in again, and this time, his eyes closed before mine.
Holy cow, shocking! I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Thank you to everyone who has reviewed thus far, I hope you continue to do so! Thanks!
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