Chapter 1 : Better Go and Get Your Armor
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Chapter Image by ahoythere @ TDA
Better Go and Get Your Armor
The Marauders sat around the fire in the Gryffindor common room, warming themselves and enjoying the evening in their own ways. James Potter and Sirius Black were busy recanting the details of their latest prank to a group of three giggling girls who were all hanging on to the boy's words as though they were a vital lifeline. Peter rested himself in the floor, just to the side of the other boys, listening with eager ears as though he hadn't been involved in the prank himself. To be honest, he was only half listening; the main of his attention focused on the girl just a bit in front of him.
Remus sat across another couch, his feet kicked up and his History of Magic book open in his lap. The boy was desperately trying to ignore the talk of the stunt. His hand reached up and mindlessly fingered at his Prefect badge; a soft frown gracing his face as he thought himself a failure to the position once again.
“Better not scowl like that, Moony, you'll scare her off,” James whispered as he reached over and nudged Remus on the leg.
“Scare who off?” Remus asked, not even bothering to look up from his assignment.
“Alice Wood,” James answered. “Are you completely blind?” He reached out and snatched the other boy's book, earning himself a deadly glare. He pointed off behind Remus in the direction of the girl he was referring to.
Remus heaved a sigh and twisted himself around to see Alice. The girl was staring straight at him, not even bothering to turn away once she was caught. Alice Wood was a tall girl, just an inch shy of the very tall Remus; she was chubby in the face, but less so in her body. Her dirty blonde hair hung in soft curls around her shoulders and her light blue eyes were topped with the longest eyelashes one could imagine.
Remus turned away from the girl and focused his attention back on James. “Why is she staring at me like that?”
“Because she likes you. Dang, Moony, aren't you supposed to be smart?”
Sirius scoffed loudly and pulled Remus' text book out of James' hands. He shoved the young werewolf's feet off into the floor and dropped heavily onto the couch next to him; letting his arm drape around Remus' shoulders. “Remus is smart,” he argued as he placed the book back into the other boy's lap. “He just doesn't like little bunnies like Alice.”
Bunny. That was a term Sirius came up with at the start of the Marauders fifth year. It was used to describe girls who were fluffy and sweet. A bunny was the type of girl who twirled her hair around her finger and giggled at things which had no humor value. The kinds of girls who were all talk and flirts until it came time to be alone. Bunnies were innocent and planned to stay that way.
Remus half smirked and started to open his mouth in response, however he was quickly silenced when James called out, “Hey, Alice!”
Sirius' arm slid off of Remus' shoulders and the boy scooted over onto a cushion of his own, leaving a chill at Remus' side from the loss of the other boy's body heat. Both boys looked up in the direction James was focused and gave small smiles to the approaching girl.
“Hey, Remus.” Alice's tone was calm and smooth, a bit airy and rehearsed sounding. She reached one hand up and twisted her fingers around in the tips of her hair as she shifted her weight between feet.
“Er...hey, Alice.” Remus flashed the girl a toothy, uncomfortable smile.
Alice stared down at the boy a moment, licking her lips and considering her words. After a moment, she blurted out, “Do you have a date to Hogsmeade Saturday?”
Remus was stunned into a long silence. Friday was Valentine's Day and all the students were planning to celebrate the holiday the day after with their Hogsmeade trip. Honestly, Remus wasn't the mushy love type. He never cared for the holiday and never put a moment's thought into it. “No, I don't,” he finally answered. Inside, he hoped that her inquiry was for general knowledge or perhaps some sort of poll around the students.
“So, I was thinking,” Alice began, taking a small step towards the seated boy and batting her eyelashes, “that you might like to take me...as your date.”
Remus nodded. Why was he nodding? He had no idea why he was nodding and more so, no idea how to make it stop. His fingers curled around the edge of his book and he could feel his hands breaking out into a sweat. “Sure.” He couldn't believe the word had come from his mouth.
“Great!” Alice chimed. “I'll see you later then.” With that, she gave the boys a small wave and hurried back over to a group of waiting girls who were all wearing eager faces.
“You cannot go to Hogsmeade with Alice,” Sirius all but growled the moment the girl was out of earshot. “She's...she's only a fifth year. You're a sixth, it just isn't right.”
Peter chose this moment to join the conversation. “So, that's only one year difference and you go out with younger girls all the time.” The deadly glare he received from Sirius was enough to make him not only wish he had stayed quiet, but change his tune completely. “You can't date Alice, if you mess things up, David would tear you apart,” he offered, much to Sirius' delight.
David Wood was Alice's older brother. The boy was a seventh year and the Gryffindor Quidditch team's best beater. Not to mention, the guy was huge.
Remus pursed his lips in annoyance and narrowed his eyes at Peter. “It's just one date. She'll go, she'll be bored, she'll change her mind and move on. Then it won't matter.” He stood up and clutched his book to his chest. “I'm going to bed,” he muttered, ignoring the pleas of return from his friends as he headed upstairs.
As far as Remus was concerned, Saturday came far too quickly. Despite his insistence that he didn't want the date, it didn't stop the boy from spending over an hour in choosing what to wear and trying to tame his unruly tawny hair. Before Remus felt he had properly prepared, he found himself walking side-by-side with Alice on the road to Hogsmeade.
After an hour had passed, things were already easier. Alice did most of the talking and Remus realized they had quite a bit in common. They shared the same taste for books, music, even favored the same classes. Remus didn't mind that the girl constantly fingered the tips of her hair and in return, Alice didn't mind that Remus felt the need to compulsively arrange his food on his plate before eating it. By the end of the date, Remus had to admit, he liked Alice Wood.
The two walked back to Hogwarts, hand in hand. They were silent, but it wasn't an awkward silence; it was more of a nothing needs to be said silence. By the time they reached the school it was dinner time. Alice scampered off with her best mate, Delilah, but promised to meet up with Remus later on.
Remus was the last of the Marauders to settle into his spot, next to Peter, at the dinner table. He had barely hit the bench before the interrogation started.
“How'd it go?”
“Was it awful?”
“Did you kiss her?”
“Peter, don't ask that.”
“I just want to know.”
“So do I! Did you snog her?”
“Did she make you listen to her feelings?”
“I bet she never shut up.”
“Did you kiss her?”
“It was awful, wasn't it?”
Remus put up his hands and waved them around frantically to stop the barrage of questions. “No! I didn't kiss her and even if I did, I wouldn't tell you nosy sods. It...well it actually went well. Alice is – Don't make that face at me, Padfoot.”
“Sorry, but unless you were gonna say Alice is sickeningly sweet and you ditched her for a different girl, then I'm gonna make this face.” Sirius pointed up to his scowling expression and added a mock retch to elaborate his point.
Remus rolled his eyes and turned his focus onto James and Peter. “I was going to say that Alice is really great. She's funny and she's actually kinda smart. She even likes the – Sirius, damn it!” He narrowed his eyes at the boy across the table, who was now holding his throat and pretending to choke.
Sirius barked out a laugh that drew the attention of everyone around him. He shook his head at Remus and leaned against the table, letting out a pathetic and dramatic sigh. “My best mate is falling for a bunny. I can't believe it. I just can't.”
“There's nothing wrong with Alice. She might be a bunny, but she's a smart, funny one.” Remus looked down at his plate and began jabbing his fork into his roast potatoes with way more force than necessary.
Sirius scoffed and leaned further across the table. “The only thing that wants to shag a bunny is another bunny. You,” he pointed his fork at Remus, “are no bunny.”
“No one said anything about shagging,” Remus growled. “We had one date, Padfoot. One. Now stop being such a bastard.”
“Language, Mister Prefect, language.” Sirius barked another laugh and returned his eyes to his food.
Remus merely rolled his eyes in response and insisted on changing the subject. James was more than happy to oblige and spent the rest of the dinner recanting the details of his date with Mary McDonald.
A soft knock came at the door of the sixth year boys' room just as the inhabitants were getting ready for bed. Sirius was the one to answer. “Hop to, Mister Lupin, Alice is at the door for you,” he said with a smirk as he moved back over towards his bed.
Remus gave a sarcastic laugh to the other boy and stepped outside of the room to talk to Alice in private. He was sure to pull the door closed behind him.
“I had a lot of fun today,” Alice began, her fingers twisting around the hem of her night shirt.
“So did I,” Remus answered, resisting the initial urge to add surprisingly to the end of his sentence.
“I was wondering...if you might like to have more fun days. As...my boyfriend?” Alice blushed faintly and dropped her eyes to the floor; the toe of her slippers dragged across the carpet.
“I'd like that.” Remus once again restrained himself from expressing his surprise.
Alice looked up, beaming, and leaned forward, giving the boy a quick kiss on his cheek. “Good night,” she whispered as she pulled away.
Remus reached out and stopped the girl from dashing away, then gave her a soft, quick kiss on her lips. “Good night,” he said back with a sneaky smile before heading into the room and closing the door. He was instantly met with three sets of eager eyes. “Nosies!” he scolded.
Remus laughed at the grumbling boys and pulled back the covers on his bed. He climbed up onto it and tugged closed the curtains on the side that faced Peter's bed and the end. He left open the curtains on the side of the bed facing Sirius'. The other boy did the same with his curtains; it was something they started years earlier, when Remus' nightmares had gone from simple whining to needing intervention.
Sirius sighed loudly as he climbed under his covers and punched at his pillow. “Look, I'm sure Alice is...nice. If you really like her then,” another dramatic and pained sigh, “I'll be nice to her.”
“I do like her,” Remus answered, curtly.
“I was hoping you'd see that for the empty gesture it was.” Sirius laughed at his own joke, earning him shushing sounds from Peter and James. It was the look he received from Remus, however, that stopped the sound completely. “Alright,” he grumbled, throwing himself down onto his pillow. “I'll try to be nice.”
The lights went out on the Marauders and the boys settled themselves down. After a moment, a small light appeared near Sirius, illuminating his face. The boy was holding his wand up. “Goodnight, Moony,” he said with a smile.
A Note From the Author: Hey everyone! Thank you so much for starting this story. I hope that you're enjoying it so far and don't be afraid to leave a review. :D --Jenna
I wanna point out that this story was inspired by Jordin Sparks “Battlefield” and the chapter titles are song lyrics (though not in order).