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Chapter 5 : I Know What's Happening Here
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I Know What's Happening Here
Alice slowly pushed open the bedroom door to the sixth year boys' room and tiptoed inside. Once she had gotten over her initial anger at Remus for throwing her out, she tossed and turned in her own bed, unable to sleep with a fight still hanging unresolved. Quietly, the girl pushed the door closed behind her and tucked back a loose strand of blonde hair that fell from her ponytail.
“Stay back,” came a pained whisper.
Alice froze. She was sure that she had heard Remus' voice, but it was so low, she could have been mistaken. After getting her breath back, she moved over to the boy's bed and tilted her head with wonder as to why one side of his curtains was still open. She stared down at her boyfriend and strained to see him in the soft moonlight pouring through a near-by window.
Remus was laid on his stomach, his hands clenched tightly onto his pillow. His tee-shirt was soaked through with sweat and he was frantically kicking at the sheets that were bunched up around his legs. Concerned with the boy's state, Alice reached down and laid her hand on his back. Remus' body flinched and he rolled onto his back. His hair was just as soaked as his back; it clung to his forehead and stuck up at odd angles.
“Remus,” Alice whispered, reaching for the boy again.
“Sirius, don't!” Remus let out a pain filled groan that sent chills down Alice's spine. He clutched at his chest and bared his teeth; another pained groan escaping through them. He rolled over onto his side and curled himself up, his face twisting in agony.
Alice put her hand over her mouth and took a step backwards from the bed. She collided hard with Sirius as the boy was headed over towards Remus. Sirius grabbed onto Alice's shoulders and pushed her from his path, almost knocking her to the floor with his carelessness.
“Remus, hey, can you hear me?” Sirius called out softly, his voice fighting to stay as calm as possible. He put one hand onto the boy's forehead and pushed the sweat clung hair from his face. “You need to wake up,” he said, a bit more forceful as he gave the boy a small shake.
Remus' body ran rigid. “Sirius, run! Get out of here,” he growled, his voice quivering with fear. His head started shaking back and forth violently, his teeth clenched together and his jaw tight.
Sirius got onto the bed, sitting on his knees and grabbed onto Remus' head, forcing him to stop moving it so that he wouldn't injure his neck. “Damn it, Remus, please wake up.” His head ducked quickly, just barely missing being struck by one of Remus' hands as they started flailing about. Sirius kept one hand on Remus' head while the other wrestled his arm down to the mattress. He pushed the boy's wrist underneath his knee to hold it in place, then reached for the other.
Alice watched with wide eyes, her hands sweating and shaking. She felt an arm around her chest as someone tried to push her towards the door. She fought against it, desperately trying to stay close to Remus.
“Alice, get out of here,” James hissed in the girl's ear as he once again tried to push her from the room. Alice continued to fight against him as she watched the almost frightening scene play out before her eyes. She took a step towards the two struggling boys, only to be held onto by James. “Stay back,” James warned. “You could get hurt.”
As if by cue, Remus growled loudly and arched his back up off of the bed. He strained under the other boy's weight as Sirius shifted to sit over him, both of his knees pinning the boy's wrists to the bed. He pushed down on Remus' chest to get him to lay back flat, his eyes closed tightly to keep from looking at the boy's anguished face.
“I have to help him!” Remus cried out, his voice hurt and angry. “He could die.”
“No, Remus, I'm fine.” Sirius leaned down and put his mouth near the other boy's ear so that Remus could hear him more clearly. “Remus, can you hear me? Can you? Just listen!” He put his hands up into Remus' hair and swept it back from his face, then wiped the sweat from his forehead. “Come on, buddy, wake up, please. I'm fine, I'm okay, you can hear me. Listen to my voice, I'm fine.”
Alice could barely hear all of what Sirius was saying. Remus' painful screams and pleas to be released were drowning out the other boy's words. She watched as a relieved look suddenly flooded Sirius' features and he sat up straight. Remus' body laid still against the bed as Sirius climbed off him and sat on his knees just to the boy's side. He grabbed onto Remus' arms and pulled him into a sitting position. Remus' eyes were now open and filled with tears. He reached out and wrapped his arms around Sirius, pulling the other boy close to him, and buried his face into the boy's neck.
“I'm fine, Moony,” Sirius whispered as he rubbed one hand up and down Remus' back in a soothing motion. “I'm perfectly okay. James is okay too. And Peter, they're both alright.” He pulled back from the other boy and wiped the tears from his cheeks. “Are you okay?”
Remus nodded and sniffled, then turned to see if he had woken up James and Peter. His eyes filled with horror as he spotted Alice. He jumped off the bed, tripping in his tangled of mess of sheets and scrambling back to his feet.
“Are you okay?” Alice asked. Finally free of James' hold, she met Remus in the middle of the room and pushed her hands over his face.
“I'm fine,” Remus answered, shooting a glare towards James.
“Hey!” James held his hands up in surrender and took a step backwards. “I tried to get her to leave. She wouldn't listen to me.” He flopped his hands back down and walked over to Remus' bed where he began helping Sirius straighten out the boy's sheets.
“Look, Alice,” Remus began, but was silenced by the girl's hand.
“We can talk I the morning, you need rest.” She touched his cheek softly and gave him an apologetic smile. “I'm so sorry. I understand completely now. I love you,” she whispered. She leaned forward and gave the boy a quick kiss before dashing from the room.
Remus sighed and turned back to his bed, finding Sirius alone on the edge of it with his face in his hands. Remus sat down next to him and laid his hand on the boy's back.
Sirius looked up with tears threatening his eyes. “They're getting worse, Moony,” he whispered.
“I know. I can't make it stop.”
“We'll figure something out, I promise.” Sirius wrapped his arm around Remus' shoulders and gave him a squeeze. “I promise,” he repeated.
Remus was not looking forward to the conversation with Alice the next morning. She stood quietly outside of the bedroom door until James, Sirius and Peter left for breakfast, then hurried inside and closed the door.
“I'm sorry that I was so awful about not sleeping with you,” she said in a hurry, wrapping her arms around Remus' neck. “You should have just told me, I would have understood. I wish that you could share your secrets with me.”
Remus put his hands on the girl's hips and looked into her eyes. “I'm sorry that I didn't tell you. I was afraid you'd freak out.”
“I understand.” Alice brushed her hand across Remus' cheek and asked the one thing he had been hoping she wouldn't. “What do you dream about?”
“I'd rather not tell you,” he answered. He pulled away his girlfriend and took a seat on the end of his bed. He stared down into his hands and chewed his bottom lip. “You're just gonna have to accept that there are certain thing I can't tell you.”
Alice joined the boy on the bed and slipped her hand into his. “Remus, you can tell me anything,” she said as she put her free hand on the boy's cheek and forced him to look at her. “If you choose not to tell me, well...there's nothing I can do about that. But you should know that there's nothing you could say that would change how I feel about you.
“I'm not going to tell you everything,” Remus whispered. “A person's entitled to have secrets.”
“So there are more? Worse than the nightmares?”
“Don't push.” Remus pulled his hand from Alice's and dragged it back through his hair. The silence wore on for far too long and Remus was just about to speak when Alice broke the tension.
“Remus, are you sick?” she asked rather bluntly.
“I feel fine,” he answered, giving the girl a confused look.
“I don't mean stomach bug sick, I mean...sick sick. Do you have cancer or some kinda...illness? I'm only going there because sometimes you look really ill and your hands shake a lot. And-and James and Peter, sometimes they look at you like you're going to fall over and Sirius.... Sirius is so protective; he acts like I'm gonna break you or something.” Alice reached up and wiped away the surfacing tears from her eyes before continuing. “You spend a lot of time in the Hospital Wing too and Mad-”
“I'm not sick,” Remus finally interrupted. “Alice, I'm fine. I'm not dying or anything like that. I swear it to you.”
Alice nodded slowly, though she looked less than convinced.
“Are you ready for class?” Remus asked, desperate to change the subject.
“No.” Alice took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “Can...can I ask you something without you getting mad at me?”
Despite the unwanted answer, Alice pushed forward anyways. “This...other secret of yours,” she began, her eyes fixed hard on the floor. “Is it about Sirius?”
“What?” Remus pulled back and stared at the blonde with wide eyes. “What secret could I have that would be about Sirius?”
Alice swallowed back air and twisted her hands in front of her. “I just.... Well, I couldn't help but notice the way you called out for him last night. I know he's your best mate and all, but watching the way he was there for you...it seemed....” She trailed off.
“Alice, you just said it. He's one of my best mates and has been for six years. He's used to the nightmares, he knows how to help. I can't control what I yell in my sleep, but I'd like to think I call for him because of that, because he's the one who comes to help me. Every time, since the first time.”
“The way he's there for you....” Alice sighted quietly. “You're lucky to have someone like that. I get so mad at him because he's such a jerk to me and I hate the way he treats girls after they've snogged him and I can't stand it when he laughs be-”
“There's nothing wrong with his laugh,” Remus snapped, not even meaning to. He covered his mouth with his hand and cut his eyes to the floor.
Alice let out a sharp breath and shook her head. “Remus, it almost seems like there's more going on with you two. Like you aren't just friends. If there are...feelings th-”
“Alice. You honestly sound really mental right now.” Remus stood up and turned his back to his girlfriend as he busied himself with gathering up his bag.
“Remus, it's fine if you wanna keep your little secrets,” the girl hissed angrily as she got to her feet and glared him down. “But don't you dare stand there and insult my intelligence that way.” She turned on her heel and stomped out of the room, leaving Remus behind with his hands in his hair.
The boy took a deep breath and dropped his arms heavily to his side. He clenched his jaw and closed his eyes, thinking through an apology before following Alice out of the room.
A Note From the Author: Thank you so much for reading! I'd love to know what you think of Remus' situation and how Sirius was there for him. :D --Jenna
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