Chapter 6 : Good Talk, Remus
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Disclaimer: I don’t own anything! This is all J.K.Rowling
The rest of the week went by in a flash and before I knew it, it was exams week. I had spent the majority of the weekend in the library cramming as much knowledge into my poor head as would fit. Now that my worries about Chris were over, I could concentrate more easily on what lay ahead of me. The Clique had been ecstatic when I told them what happened with Chris.
The Maraduers, however, had the same reaction as Potter. Sirius was clearly disappointed at the way things had turned out. He didn’t say anything about it to me, but it was obvious. Remus had very kindly told me that whatever made me happy made him happy as well. I hadn’t spoken to Potter since the morning by the lake and I vehemently refused to be anywhere in his vicinity. Even if I hadn’t been staying away from Potter, he seemed to be keeping his distance along with Sirius. I was more upset about the latter because even when I caught him without Potter, he would make any excuse and hurry away.
I was sitting in the library late Sunday evening studying for our Charms exam the next day. It was well after midnight and Madam Pince was about ready to kick me out. I had been in there for a good fourteen hours already and no one had been successful in getting me out, not even Chris. I was mentally kicking myself for all the time I had wasted on stupid things last week like girl-talk and Chris time. I should have been studying.
I was unaware that someone had been standing next to me for a full five minutes before Remus cleared his throat, making me jump nearly out of my seat.
“I’m so sorry, Remus,” I muttered frantically gathering the papers I had just sent flying everywhere. “I didn’t even see you there.”
Remus grabbed my hands to halt me. “Lily, you need to get out of here. The rest of the castle is already asleep and I’ve been sent to rescue you.”
“Rescue me?” I asked absently as I struggled to become free from his grip.
“Not really. I was on patrol and I was told that there was someone left in the library so I came to investigate. And here you are…”
“Remus, I need my hands to pack up my things. I’m going to bed, I swear.” I said. He freed my hands and I quickly shoved everything in my bag, not even caring that papers were getting crumpled.
“Lily, you shouldn’t push yourself so hard,” Remus said when we were outside the library. He had volunteered to walk me back to the Gryffindor tower and, afraid that I would collapse out of exhaustion before I reached there, I agreed.
“Don’t worry about me, Remus. I just wasted too much time last week that I should have been studying,” I said as I yawned.
Remus laughed quietly and then stopped abruptly. I walked for a few steps before I noticed he had stopped moving.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, looking up and down the corridor.
“Shhh,” He said waving a hand and me, signaling that I should stand next to him. “Do you hear that?”
I listened for a minute before I heard a faint scuffling coming from the broom closet next to us.
“Ew, Remus I don’t want to see what’s in there,” I said wrinkling my nose. The last thing I wanted to deal with was a couple of students snogging each other’s brains out in a closet.
“Lily, we’re Prefects. We’ve got to do our job…” Remus said as he knocked on the door to the closet, giving its occupants and bit of warning. The scuffling stopped and the door opened a tiny bit.
“Bloody hell,” a boy’s voice said and the door opened all the way revealing a tousle-haired Potter and a thin blond sixth year Hufflepuff girl that I recognized as Holly Perth. “Sorry, Moony. I didn’t realize you would be on patrol tonight. We’ll just be on our way then…”
Potter grabbed the blond girl’s hand and pulled her out of the closet behind him. He noticed me standing next to Remus and paused momentarily, almost unsure of what to say or do. This was the closest we’d come to each other since our fight.
He looked me up and down and I realized what I mess I must look like. The ratty jeans I was wearing had holes all over them and my oversize blue sweater was practically hanging off my shoulder. My hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail I must have had dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep all weekend. One of the corners of his mouth twitched in a smile as he took in my disheveled appearance.
“Evans,” He nodded in acknowledgement and was then quickly pulled away by an embarrassed Holly Perth. I rolled my eyes at his retreating back and turned towards Remus who had an amused expression on his face.
“Let’s get back to the common room,” Remus suggested as he closed the door to the broom closet.
“And you just let him get away with this stuff?” I slurred. I was dangerously close to falling over and going to sleep right there in the corridor.
“If it were Pippa in that closet, wouldn’t you let her go too?” Remus accused, raising his eyebrows at me.
“I suppose,” I said stiffly. Of course I would let her go, no questions asked. I would make fun of her later for it, but I would never intentionally get her in trouble.
“You don’t like James very much do you?” Remus asked casually as we continued walking to the common room.
“Oh come on Remus, I don’t want to talk about Potter and I right now,” I said, stumbling slightly when we started to ascend the grand staircase.
“Lily, I said nothing about you and James. I’m just curious as to why you seem to have such a problem with him as a person,” Remus explained.
“Its not that I don’t like him. Well, I don’t hate him as much as I used to,” I was beginning to find it difficult to form coherent sentences. “Potter’s fine sometimes, and then the next he’ll be an arrogant prat trying to ask me out, even though I have a boyfriend. What does he expect me to say?”
Remus said nothing to that as we reached the top of the staircase. I couldn’t tell if he had an answer to that or not so I decided to change the subject.
“Is Sirius mad at me?”
“What?” Remus stopped, obviously taken aback by my question.
“Sirius. He hasn’t really talked to me since last week. I mean, it’s not like he’s my best friend or anything,” I tried to laugh casually but it came out as more of a strangled yelp. I think I was starting to think of him as a best friend. Weird. “But it’s just a bit unusual for us to go so long without talking.”
Remus didn’t respond again but said the password and helped me through the portrait hole. Thinking he wasn’t going to answer at all, I began to walk towards the girls’ dorm when Remus pulled me back.
“Lily, sit down for a minute.” Remus said moving us over to the couch in front of the fire. I obeyed him, nearly falling as I stumbled over the edge of the rug under the couch. Remus sat down next to me and stared into the fire. I shifted my gaze away from his brooding face and stared into the dying embers also.
“Sirius and James… well, they’re like you and Pippa,” he began and I was lost at once. “What I mean is, what hurts one of them, hurts the other too.” I nodded in comprehension, though I was still at a loss as to where this conversation was going. All I could think about was my bed a few floors up…
“I know you’ve heard this a hundred times before but you’ve got to understand that we all know better than anyone how James feels about you. He’s not fooling around, Lily. And you know we all love you and want you to be happy as well, but…”
I chewed on my bottom lip and continued to stare into the fire. I was too tired to argue with him right now.
“When we heard you and Pippa talking about how you and Chris might break up, we couldn’t help but be a little hopeful. James was hoping that once you were free of him, you might finally give him a chance… And when you told us you were staying together, well, James took it a bit harder than the rest of us. Don’t get me wrong, we’re glad you’re happy. But Lily, Chris isn’t right for you. You’ve got to realize that… even if you don’t want to admit it out loud, deep down you know that when you’re with him something feels off, something’s missing. I’m not saying that James has what Chris is missing, but he’s waited for you for so long and he only has one more year to wait for you…”
My head was swimming. This was too much to take in and I was too tired. If I didn’t know any better I would say this was a dream. How many times had I heard that Potter has feelings for me? And why was I actually starting to believe it when Remus told me as opposed to Sirius and Potter himself?
“But Remus… tonight, in the broom cupboard. How am I supposed to believe that James likes me when every time I turn around he’s with another girl,” I said groggily. I wouldn’t be able to last much longer.
“Lily, I’m not saying I approve of what he does while he’s waiting for you,” Remus shook his head. He was frustrated, but I couldn’t tell if it was with me or Potter. “But I am saying that he’s waiting for you.”
I didn’t say anything to that. I didn’t know what to say. So I slowly stood up and walked up the stairs to the girls dorm leaving Remus on the couch. I didn’t even bother changing before crawling onto my bed and falling asleep without giving a second thought to anything Remus just told me.
* * * *
I woke up the next morning, confused at first as to why I was wearing jeans in bed. I sat up and looked around me. Marley and Pippa’s beds were empty. Emilie was standing in front of the full length mirror tugging at her skirt so that it was hanging straight. She looked over at me when she heard me move.
“Good morning, sleepy-head,” She said laughing as she bounced over to my bed. “What time did you get in last night? We were worried you had fallen asleep in the library.”
“I think it was around two. Where is everyone?” I asked as I quickly changed into my uniform and threw my hair into a sloppy ponytail.
“Pip and Marley are downstairs waiting for us. I was going to wake you before I went down. We still have a few hours before Charms,” She said in her light, airy voice. “Do you want to have breakfast with us?”
“Yeah,” I said, pulling on my shoes. “Emilie, can I ask you something?”
She got up off my bed and moved next to me in front of the mirror as I pulled some loose threads off my skirt. “Anything, Lil.”
I stared at myself in the mirror for a minute. “Do you think Chris is right for me?”
“Oh,” she said, taken aback. She took a few steps back and picked up her bag as she headed toward the door. “You know we all think Chris is great.”
“That’s not what I asked, Em.” I said picking up my own bag and following her out the door. Emilie was stopped at the top of the stairs, tugging on a piece of her golden-brown hair.
“We like Chris. But no one will ever be good enough for you, Lily,” Emilie said tenderly. I started down the stairs but she stuck out her hand. “What’s this all about?”
I thought for a minute. “I don’t know. Just something Remus said last night. It’s nothing, really.”
Emilie shrugged and followed me down the stairs.
Breakfast was stressful, to say the least. The tables were covered with books and notes and students frantically trying to do some last minute studying. All of us were too nervous to eat so we resorted to firing off questions at each other and muttering incantations under our breath, occasionally making one of us burst into laughter as a result of a cheering charm or the sugar bowl combust into flames spraying molten sugar at all those near it.
Chris stopped by the table briefly to give me a good luck kiss and I couldn’t help but notice that the Marauders suddenly concentrated very hard on perfecting the proper wand technique for the Impervius Charm.
I was trying hard not to think about what Remus told me the night before. And failing. Why did it matter if Potter liked me? I didn’t like him. I wanted to talk to the Clique about this but they would probably think I liked Potter if I told them. I just couldn’t get what Remus said about Chris not being right for me out of my head. Was he right? I’d never really thought much about where my relationship with Chris would go. Maybe that was a sign right there…
I finished with the written part of the Charms exam very early and after double-checking every answer, I put my quill down and waited for the time to run out. Pippa was furiously writing away in the desk next to me, her tongue stuck out in concentration. Marley had finished early too and had her chin propped in her hands, staring at the ceiling. Her mahogany hair fell in soft waves away from her face and her dark brown eyes reflected the candles on the wall. Emilie, who was sitting on the other side of me was tapping one of her feet anxiously and tugging on a piece of her hair.
My eyes rested on the desk a few rows ahead of me to the left. Potter was hunched over his paper, pausing every so often to read a question then calmly writing the answer. His jet-black was hair untidy and stuck out in odd directions as if he had just woken up. He reached up to adjust his black rim glasses, which were sliding down his perfectly straight nose. He paused to read another question and ran his hand distractedly through his already untidy hair. Of course I’d always thought he was good looking. That had never been a secret. It had just never meant anything to me before. Not that it meant anything now, either.
I shook my head, trying to rid all thoughts of James Potter from my mind. Happily, I let my thoughts settle on Chris and how we would spend those two weeks at his house this summer.
A/N: Hey Everyone! Back again with another update! Not much, just a few grammatical fixes. Anyways, how do you like the new chapter photos? I'd love to hear what you think!
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