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Chapter 4 : Heimlich Maneuver
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The first month went by faster than Remus was expecting. October was looming ever closer, and so was his first transformation at Hogwarts. The air was nearly knocked out of him when he caught sight of the date.
He gawked at the miniature calendar in his hand, his eyes wide and his stomach full of ravenous butterflies. In three days, we would be a monster…
"Swallow a fly, Remus?" Peter called across their dorm. He was holding a pillow in his left hand, and his bed set in the other. The three of them, Sirius, James, and Peter that is, were tearing up the room looking for their chess pieces. Remus had spotted them within two minutes of watching them destroy their dorm, they were under Peter's bed, but he didn't say anything.
“Peter’s right, Remus you’re looking a bit pale,” James said, eyeing him with curiosity. He dropped a dirty pair of pants he was holding up and went to Remus’ side. “Did you swallow a fly? Sirius, do you know the Heimlich maneuver?”
Sirius shook his head and joined James’ side. “You’re all sweaty, mate.” He scrunched up his face. “I can try the Heimlich maneuver if you want me to” He seemed overly happy by the thought. Remus quickly shook his head.
“No,” Remus choked out. “No I just… I noticed the date.” The three boys gave him a strange look, but shrugged their shoulders and continued throwing items of all sorts about the room. Sighing, Remus grabbed his homework from where it rested at the end of the bed and went for the door. “By the way,” he said quickly to the boys. “I suggest looking under the beds.” With that, Remus descended the stairs and plopped down at the first empty table he found.
Concentrating on homework was a lot more difficult with the gnawing feeling of dread that now attacked his stomach. The feeling, which was once a constant distress to him at home, felt foreign. This thought amused him. He slowly realized that, for the first time ever, his transformation wasn’t worrying him. At least, not worrying him in the way it once had. He once feared the pain and discomfort, now he worried about being caught. What would Lily say if she knew what he was?
He didn’t want to think about it. Professor Dumbledore had it all figured out, his secret would remain just that, a secret. He was a secret to all of the school. He was secretly dangerous, secretly sneaking behind their backs, and secretly betraying the whole student body by lying to them. He was secretly putting them in danger on every full moon.
Remus’ stomach sunk over and over again as these thought piled themselves into his brain.
Why can’t I just not think for once? He wondered to himself, tightly shutting his eyes in hopes that his thoughts would escape him that way. His guilt was overpowering.
“Is something bothering you, Remus,” a soft voice said from over his shoulder. He had been so absorbed in his thoughts that he hadn’t realized Lily had snuck up behind him. He forced a smile to play across his lips and shook his head.
“No, I’m okay,” Remus assured her.
“I don’t believe you,” she said. “But I’ll pretend like I do. For your benefit. Though I must admit I am rather curious.” She pulled up a chair next to him and settled down, planting her books and other school items into the middle of the table.
“Curiosity killed the cat, you know,” Remus commented.
“But I’m positive that the cat you speak of died nobly.” Remus raised his eyebrow to her. She smiled and pushed her fiery locks of hair behind her ear. “I’d like to live a life full of adventure and curiosity. I want to know what is out there just waiting to be discovered.”
“You have a point there,” Remus said. “But I still think curiosity is a very unwise choice. It’s dangerous.”
“I’m a big girl,” Lily laughed. “I think I can handle it.”
Remus laughed too, and bent his head over his homework. “I’m sure you can handle whatever comes your way.”
And finally, with Lily as a distraction, Remus found himself not thinking about the upcoming transformation at all.
The three days went by so much faster than Remus had anticipated. Classes for the day had just ended, and he was making his way back to his dorm so he could prepare for the night’s events.
“Remus, you’re really pale, mate,” James said, cutting in front of him and stopping his path. “Do you feel sick?”
Remus ran his hand through his hair in frustration. He wished he could explain it all, but he knew no one would understand. He’d be the outcast if the word got out, and that was something he didn’t want. Being alone wasn’t comforting anymore, it was terrifying.
“I’m fine.” Swiftly, he stepped around James and rushed down the hall. He forced his way through the packed walkways and continued on until he found himself in an empty corridor.
The silence pranced around him in a quiet frenzy. The noiseless and secluded hall was mocking his very existence. It was his destiny to be alone, even when he was surrounded by the people he often found himself calling almost-friends.
“They’ll never be friends,” Remus reminded himself quietly. His voice echoed off the walls, ringing in his ears like a constant reminder. He sighed and pushed himself against the cold, brick wall and fell slowly to the floor.
He had never felt so lost.
Maybe Hogwarts wasn’t the best idea. The danger he was putting himself and everyone else in was selfish. No, he told himself. This was a very bad idea.
A soft cough sounded in his ears. He perked his head up and looked around. At the very end of the corridor, he noticed a small form looking at him with scrunched up eyes.
“You don’t look so great.”
Remus forced a small smile to spread across his lips. “Yeah, like I haven’t heard that one before.”
A/N: Thanks for reading! Sorry it's so short, I'm just trying to get back into the groove of writting again. :)
Feedback is always loved!
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