There was a banging from the corridor. I jumped when I’d heard it, as the intensity of the moment seemed to seep into my mind, leaving me somewhat numb to any other emotion except worry and dread.
“Who is it?” Elsie called. Her voice was bland, and I didn’t understand how she had gone from completely stricken to blasé in the blink of an eye. And then I realized what exactly she was doing—making it seem like nothing was wrong, acting.
Elsie pushed a few strands of hair behind her ear using her fingers, and then plopped down on her mattress. Silence. It took quite a few moments before she called once more, “Hello, anyone down there?”
“It’s Remus,” I felt my heart quicken merely at the sound of his voice. I closed my eyes and exhaled deeply, tears nearly coming to my eyes. “I need to talk to Mute…please,” he added the mannerly phrase as an afterthought—typical Remus—but his voice was still edgy and hard. Our eyes all met and we stared at each other for a long moment, silence becoming heavy and suffocating.
“Hold on, she’s coming,” Camilla called back, her eyes never leaving mine. We heard a small shuffling and then I leaned toward Camilla.
“What are you doing?” I shrieked, attempting to be quiet, and yet holding hostility in my tone. “Have you not heard the past half hour of discussion? I can’t just talk to him!”
“Do you love him?” Camilla asked. I took a small step back, completely shocked. Lily messed with my hair for a minute, a very motherly gesture that I didn’t deserve. Even though I felt no trace of anger towards Lily at the moment, I shrugged away in spite. My eyes were still glaring at Camilla.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Just answer the damn question, Mute,” Camilla sighed, a hand rushing to her forehead, feigning a headache.
The answer was obvious and I answered immediately, “yes.”
“Then work through this,” Camilla sat down, very calmly, atop her four poster. Then she stood up and began to pull the edges of the comforter that was resting on top of it, making her bed. Elsie giggled. Camilla breathed every word as she worked and moved around her bed, her voice stiff and harsh, “People who are truly in love, they work through all the shit to get to the real stuff. Mute, work through the whole fucking mess, and be in love, dammit.”
The way she accentuated the last word left me with little room to disagree. “Yes, sir,” I said quickly. I rushed from the room, opening the door and finding myself face to face with Remus faster than I’d been ready for.
He looked normal. I don’t know why I’d been expecting dark circles and disheveled hair, mixed with the inkling of a repentant smile, but I had.
“Why don’t we take this in here?” He motioned to the cupboard just off to the right. We walked inside and just as he shut the door, I thought I heard someone walking down the stairs—I presumed it was Lily.
“Remus,” I began, but he interrupted.
“Mute, I didn’t come here to talk about that,” he paused, looking to the ground, thinking. I raised my eyebrows just a bit and lowered my head a small fraction, inadvertently giving him a puppy-dog look. I didn’t actually mean to do it, but once I discovered that I was in mid-lip quiver, I didn’t try to stop it either. He looked back up and, taking in my countenance, looked back down, “incident. I just wanted to tell you that it’s all good and well. I don’t even care about that anymore.”
“Honestly?” I practically squealed, preparing to throw my arms around his neck. He nodded curtly. I threw myself at him, giving him a quick kiss on the cheek before I squeezed him to me.
His whole body stiffened.
I looked on, half absent, while he detangled himself from me, forcefully removing my arms from around his neck. My eyebrows furrowed, the sting of rejection seeping into my heart. I felt the need to vomit, and yet my throat was completely dry. Even my eyes couldn’t muster the strength to actually cry. “Remus?”
“I don’t think we understood one another,” his voice was calm and even, completely detached. His eyes were looking to the ground, blatantly refusing to make contact with my own wide and confused ones. “I meant that while I can look past the entire incident and accept your apologies, I’m afraid that I cannot find it within me to be as forgiving as to completely forget this event. I feel it best if we steady ourselves at a mature and respectable acquaintanceship.”
“You’re not making any sense,” I whimpered.
“Don’t I? Well, I’m afraid that is as clear as I feel I can make it. I hope in time you can come to completely understand the effects and repercussions of your actions, and inevitably mature and grow as a person. In the meantime, I can only offer a polite and distanced association.”
“You can’t do this,” I cried.
“Can’t I?” He yelled, his eyes flying up, for the first time meeting my own. His anger seemingly came from nowhere, and yet I knew all too well where this was leading to. “You’re saying that I can’t try to forgive and forget the best three months of my life if they were an elaborate charade? I can’t try to come to terms with the steaming pile of shit that you’ve bombarded upon my heart?”
I knew I’d hurt him, but I had no idea just how emotional he was. He had choked on the last word, making ‘heart’ sound like some form of curse.
“Remus, no, don’t do this to me again!” I shrieked.
“Mute, are you honestly playing victim? Well, I won’t try to mess up this self-pitying thing you have going on here, you’re obviously worse off than I am!” He trailed off towards the end and turned, attempting to leave. He opened the door and took a step outside.
“Remus Lupin, come back here! Don’t be a right git just because you’re angry!” I shouted, the slight Irish accent that I had been attempting to weed out of my mouth since I was ten crawled into my voice.
“Mute, don’t tell me what to do!” He was too angry. This was dangerous—it was never wise to argue with a werewolf.
“Remus, please, don’t be like this. You know that I could never intentionally hurt you! I wouldn’t have done that stupid dare in the first place if I had known that I would grow to love you so much,” I stepped towards him, reaching out to take his hand in mine, and surprised to find that he didn’t retract it or shrug away from me entirely. “You have to believe me when I say that I am not that horrible wench you’re making me out to be!”
“I know,” he sighed. Just when I thought all traces of anger were gone, he shouted, “but that doesn’t change the fact that you would have done this dare, that you did do it! It shows your true colors, Mute.”
“Don’t you love me, Remus?”
“Don’t use that on me,” he threatened. I ignored his tone, merely because he hadn’t removed his hand from mine. I stepped closer, sliding my hand up his arm to his shoulder.
“I promise I will never hurt you again,” I whispered in his ear, my own tears making it sound slightly slurred and rushed.
“Stop,” he breathed.
“I promise,” I whispered right before I let my lips touch his. He didn’t respond, and then…
I felt all of his anger burst into his lips, his hands coming to my waist, pulling me closer. He kissed me fiercely, his hand rubbing my back in a circular motion. I wrapped my arms around his neck and then raised myself slightly on my tiptoes. He devoured my lips, the kiss so rushed that I couldn’t breathe. I tilted my head and ran my hand through his hair.
“No!” Remus had pushed me away, hard. His eyes were dark red, his mouth was open, his fists were clenched.
“Hey!” A voice called.
It was the first time I’d ever been happy to see Camilla. She was by Remus’s side in seconds. And her fist collided with his face just instants later.
I stared, open mouthed, in completely shock.
“Get up, hun, let’s go.”
As Camilla hurried me to the hospital wing, I looked over my shoulder to see Remus staring at me, his expression so shocked and confused that I had to look away.
Wow, okay, harsh chapter.
Before you freak out, no, Remus is not an abusive boyfriend--he got extremely overwhelmed, and he had said before that when he gets angry, he isn't in control. It's a side-effect of being a werewolf in my story (refer to harsh, rough love scene).
So, I'm really sorry I took forever to update, and on top of that, this chapter isn't even that long! Gosh, LilyMaria, you really suck at giving the people what they want!
I promise that the next few chapters will make up for this one, even though I don't think that this is too terrible.
And yes, the reviewer question is to try and get more ideas for the sequel...that being said, please review!
Review Question: Is there anything from PAST chapters that you want to know more about, and/or wish you could have changed?
Write a Review Bragging Rights: Chapter Twenty-Two. Mute.