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Chapter 3 : One Word Turns into a War
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One Word Turns into a War
It was the morning before the first full moon of the cycle. Remus was standing in front of the mirror, attempting to comb down his light brown hair which was sticking up in the back something fierce. His hands were shaking so hard he was to the point of giving up. He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths, trying to pull himself together. He felt a hand cover his own and slip the comb from between his fingers. “Thank you, Sirius,” he whispered softly before he even opened his opened his eyes to see him.
Sirius smiled and ran the comb through the other boy's hair, doing his best to tame the bed-shaped mess. “You look worse than usual.” If it hadn't been for the sympathetic and kind tone to the boy's voice, he would have sounded cruel. He stared at Remus in the mirror, his eyes worried.
“I haven't been sleeping,” Remus said, lamely.
Sirius' features twisted in confusion. “I haven't heard you in weeks.”
“No.” Remus shook his head and took the comb back from the other boy. “It isn't that. I haven't been able to fall asleep at all.”
“Why don't you get some sleep now? Just skive a- Don't walk away from me.”
At the word skive, Remus had made a break for the door. “You know I can't. If anyone noticed th-”
“Moony,” Sirius pleaded with him. “No one will notice you're gone for one day. James and I can cover for you. We'll say you're skipping for your birthday or we played some prank on you and you're glued to the wall. Come on.” He wrapped his hands around Remus' arm and started pulling the boy towards the bed. “You need some sleep.”
Remus was staring down at the floor. Despite his not wanting to miss class, he was giving serious thought to it. His inner battle was cut short when Alice poked her head into the room.
“Remus, love, are you ready?” Alice walked into the room and ignored the glare she was receiving from Sirius. “Are you okay, you look kinda sick,” she whispered.
“Actually, he isn't feeling -”
“I'm fine,” Remus interrupted with a sharp tone. He took Alice's hand and gave it a little squeeze. “I just slept wrong, I'm fine. Let's go, I'm really hungry.”
Remus couldn't be certain, but he was fairly sure he heard Sirius mutter something involving the words werewolf and bunny as he led Alice out of the bedroom. He shot the other boy a warning look and wrapped his arm around Alice's shoulder to head to the Great Hall.
Remus managed to make it through breakfast and his morning classes without having an incident, but by the time lunch arrived, he was looking dreadful. Halfway through the meal, he had already dropped his sandwich in his lap, twice, and knocked his juice over onto the table.
Alice aided in the clean up and glanced out of the corner of her eyes at Remus. “You feeling alright, love?” she asked quietly. When Remus responded with a weak nod, she pursed her lips and turned towards him. “Remus, what's wrong?” she asked adamantly. “Maybe you should go to the nurse,” she pressed on. She lifted her hand to the boy's forehead and frowned. “You're burning up.”
“I'm fine,” Remus whispered, pulling the girl's hand from his head. “Just drop it, I'm okay.” He leaned over and gave Alice a kiss on the cheek, then lovingly passed his hand through her hair.
Alice gave the boy a weary look, but stopped speaking. She ate in silence, occasionally looking across the table to see James or Sirius throwing worried glances at Remus. She dropped her fork, letting it clang loudly against her plate. “Are you sure? I can walk with you to the wing, it isn't a big deal.”
Remus closed his eyes a moment and took a deep breath before shaking his head. “Alice...dear, I'm perfectly fine. Just finish up or we'll be late to our next class.”
“I don't think everything's perfectly fine. Your hands are shaking.” Alice widened her eyes and snapped up the boy's hand, clutching it between her own and holding it against her heart. She stared at the boy with pained eyes and opened her mouth to speak again.
“Don't you know when to back off?” Sirius growled. Pressing his hands hard against the table. He leaned forward and stared at Alice with cold eyes.
“Excuse me?” Alice snapped, staring right back into Sirius' gaze and returning the coldness.
“He said he was fine. Just shut your mouth already,” Sirius snapped, leaning a bit closer over the table.
“Sirius, stop,” Remus whispered. He rubbed at his eyes with the tips of his fingers on his free hand and stared down at the table.
“I'm sorry, but she asked you like...ten times! How many times does a bloke have to answer the same stupid question before she'll shut up?”
Alice dropped Remus' hand and got to her feet. She threw her legs over the bench and stared back down at Sirius. “I don't see how it's any of your business!” she shrieked loudly enough that the surround students stopped their meal and turned to watch the scene.
“Alice, please sit down,” Remus whispered, tugging on the girl's robes.
“No. Not with that jerk still here.” Alice looked down at Remus, her eyes flashing in her anger. She leaned down and put her hands on the table, then bent over it to bring her face close to Sirius'. “I don't know what your problem is,” she hissed, “But I suggest you get over it. Fast.” She stood up and whipped her robes around rather dramatically and stormed out of the Great Hall.
All four boys watched in silence as Alice departed, each of them wearing shocked faces. Sirius was the first to move. He rubbed his hands over his face and shook his head, a loud, half-laughed sigh coming from his throat. “Moony, I'm so-”
“Shut up,” Remus snapped, turning his face to meet Sirius' shocked eyes.
Sirius' face fell in hurt at his friend's harsh tone. “I was trying to a-”
“Damn it, Sirius,” Remus interrupted. “The next time you wanna have a go at my girlfriend, maybe you could have better timing.” He got to his feet and stepped over the bench, his tired eyes still bearing down into Sirius'. “Don't you think I'm dealing with enough right now?” he added, throwing his napkin down onto his unfinished lunch. He closed his eyes and took a calming breath before heading out of the Great Hall to find Alice.
Sirius stared after Remus with his mouth hanging open. After a moment, he turned to James. “I can't believe he just did that. I was say-”
“Shut up, Sirius,” James sighed, his eyes focused on his food.
The offended boy narrowed his eyes at James. He cast a glance over towards Peter, who instantly dropped his gaze onto his own plate. Slowly, Sirius shook his head and dragged his hand back through his hair. He put his elbow on the table and rested his head upon the back of his hand as he looked down at his food. He picked up his fork and poked at the cold lump of chicken sitting on his plate. The dejection from all of the other Marauders ate into him until he stood up and threw his fork down, making a loud enough clatter to start up a chain of whispers around him.
“Sit down,” James ordered dryly without even looking up. “Don't you dare go bother them.”
A low, canine growl built in Sirius' chest and he snapped his teeth threateningly at James. He hadn't intended to go after Remus, but because of the accusation, that was exactly what he decided upon doing. He charged out of the Great Hall and whipped the Marauders' Map out of his pocket. Staring down at the mess of students, he quickly spotted two down a hall to themselves.
After watching the names move closer, Sirius wiped the Map and headed to his bed.
Meanwhile, Remus dashed down the hallway, unsure how Alice was able to get so far from him. He called her name until the girl consented to stop, then pulled her over towards a window to keep out of the middle of the hallway.
“I'm sorry, Remus,” Alice whispered as she stared idly out of the window. “He just made me so mad. I don't know how you can put up with him; he's like a child. He's a complete jerk.”
Remus made a sharp huff and took Alice's hand into his own. “Look, he was bent out of line, I don't argue that, but I can't...I can't let you insult my best mate like that.”
Alice made a sour face and pulled her hand free from Remus'. For a moment, he thought he had angered her until she put her arms around his neck and moved closer to him. “Alright.” She licked her lips and shifted a bit. “I just wish I knew why he was being like that to me.”
“I don't know why,” Remus answered. “I'd tell you if I did, but Sirius....” He trailed off and leaned against the wall, his arms looping around the girl's waist. “Sirius can be complicated, to say the least. I think he has it in his head that you're gonna ditch me; lead me on and ditch me.”
Alice looked up into Remus' eyes and faltered. “That isn't true though! I wouldn't do that. I love you,” she argued. When a flinch was visible on Remus' face, she slid her arms down from around his neck and rested her hands on his chest. “Sorry, I know that you aren't ready for that. I'm not asking you to say it back, but you can't stop me from telling you how I feel.”
Remus nodded and put his forehead against Alice's. “I know,” he whispered before pulling her into a soft kiss.
Remus walked into the bedroom and dropped his bag down onto the floor next to his bed. He sat down heavily on the edge of Sirius' bed and looked down at him with disappointment in his eyes. Sirius folded his arms over his chest and rolled over to his side, a childish snort coming from his nose.
“You missed class,” Remus said with a matter-of-fact tone.
“You missed tea.”
Remus rolled his eyes and fished a scrap of parchment from his robe pocket. He dropped it onto Sirius' head and got up from the bed. Sirius rolled over and picked up the parchment as he sat up on the bed. “What's this?” he asked, unfolding it.
“The notes for the classes you missed. You're welcome,” Remus answered with an unamused tone as he headed for the door.
“Moony, wait.” Sirius dropped the parchment and hurried to intercept the boy from leaving. He put his hands on Remus' shoulders and looked up at his face. “I'm really so-”
“Don't.” Remus pulled out of Sirius' hands and took a step backwards. “Don't apologize, okay? If you're really sorry, then you'll...you'll figure out whatever it is that you hate so much about Alice and...get over it.”
“I don't know what it is!” Sirius growled. He put his hands in his hair and tugged at it in frustration. “She just makes me so mad.”
“Could it be that you're jealous?” Remus asked simply. The confused look on the other boy's face brought a sigh from Remus. “I know you get a lot of girls, Sirius, but you snog them a few hours then you're done. They're gone. Maybe you're just jealous that someone wants me for more than just my lips.” He braced himself for Sirius' laughter, but it never came. The two stood in silence for a while before Remus forced himself to break it. “I have to get some dinner and get to the Hospital Wing. Moon comes up early tonight. Are you coming?”
“Of course!” Sirius was obviously wounded from the question.
Remus merely nodded and stepped around Sirius. He met Alice in the common room and gave her a quick excuse about Prefect duties before he took off into the hallway. Sirius watched as the two shared a quick kiss and was taken aback when Alice's eyes jumped to him. The girl put her hands on her hips and stared up at Sirius with the coldest eyes he had ever seen. Sirius just glared right back.
A Note From the Author: Hey! I hope that everyone is enjoying so far. Don't be afraid to leave me a few thoughts. Thanks for reading!! --Jenna
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