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Chapter 12 : Pick a Side, Any Side
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“I want to take you on a walk,” Sirius said and offered Shay her jacket, hat and scarf.
“Sirius, it’s freezing out,” Shay said in a friendly tone.
“You love the cold. We always used to play out in the snow,” Sirius said and his eyes were lighting up with excitement.
Shay didn’t have the heart to turn him away.
“Alright. You better find me a pair of boots.”
“I’m glad you made me come out here Sirius. It’s absolutely beautiful,” Shay glowed.
“I’m just happy to see you happy,” Sirius said and pulled Shay close as they walked down to the lake.
Hogwarts was almost empty due to Christmas break. Shay had spent Christmas with Sirius and Remus, which was tense. It wasn’t until then that Shay realized Remus and Sirius held such contempt for each other.
“I am happy. I’ve been really happy.”
“Shay I know you better than you know yourself. I can tell that you’re searching for something. And I’m guessing that something is your memory.”
“It’s been two months. Two months and I don’t know a thing about myself. It’s getting frustrating.”
“You know who you are,” Sirius said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“Sirius you just said it yourself. You know me better than I know myself. Can I be honest with you?” Shay asked and stopped walking.
Sirius turned and stood in front of her and held her hands in his.
“Of course you can.”
“Sometimes I feel as if you’re lying to me,” Shay said and the light left Sirius’s eyes immediately.
“Why would you feel that way?” Sirius asked and he could feel his heart rate quicken.
“I just notice that sometimes when I ask you questions you get nervous and you don’t make eye contact with me. Just like right now,” Shay said and forced Sirius to look at her.
“No need to apologize. I just want to know that you’re telling me the truth,” Shay said with a soft smile.
“You’re absolutely gorgeous,” Sirius said in a breathless tone.
Shay blushed a little.
“Those aren’t the words I was looking for but thanks for the compliment. You’re not so bad yourself,” Shay said.
“Shay, I’ve been wanting to do something since you got back,” Sirius said in a little more than a mumble.
“What do you want to do?”
Sirius answered her with a small kiss on the lips.
“I’ve been waiting to do that,” Sirius said with a big grin and went back in for another kiss.
However, Shay blocked his second attempt.
“Sirius, this isn’t a good idea.”
“Why not? This is natural for us.”
Shay let out a small laugh.
“It’s too soon. Sirius, you’ve known me your whole life but in reality I’ve only known you for two months.”
“Do you have any feelings for me?”
“Sirius, I can’t deny that I do. My chest feels heavy when I see you and I get lightheaded. I know what that means. But I get that feeling around someone else too,” Shay said and felt an instantly pang of guilt when she saw Sirius’s face.
He took a step back from her and dropped his gaze down to the snow-covered ground.
“Sirius, I’m sorry. But can you imagine how confused I feel right now? I don’t want to play these games and I don’t want to hurt either one of you, so that’s why it’s too soon,” Shay said and went to grab Sirius’s hands.
He slipped out her grasp and took another step back.
“I have to go. I have to do stuff for the Order,” Sirius said quietly and shuffled back up to the castle and left Shay at the lake by herself.
“Sirius, come back! I said I was sorry!” Shay yelled and for the first time since she got back, she cried.
Sirius raced back to get to headquarters. This day had not gone like he planned. He was expecting to be back with Shay by the end of the day and have his old life back. Sirius missed the way things used to be. When he was still in school, everything went Sirius Black’s way. Everybody use to look to him to find what to do, how to act, sometimes even what to say. Now, he was practically a nobody. No job, no family, nearly no friends.
It made him angry. Sirius always had a temper and little self-control. Everybody knew it, even Sirius did. He knew that he was to blame for most of his problems, but he couldn’t help lashing out at other people.
Sirius was taken out of his daze when he was greeted by a familiar voice.
“Where’s Shay? Is she in the infirmary still?”
It was too much for Sirius. He couldn’t handle the thought that Shay would pick Remus over himself again. In his mind, one of his oldest friends was trying to steal his girlfriend. All he saw was red.
Sirius rampaged towards Remus and started swinging. Remus was caught off guard at first. He had tried to be polite and this is what he got.
“Stay away from her!” Sirius yelled and connected with Remus’s jaw.
There was another yell from down the corridor.
“Sirius, stop!” Shay yelled and ran over to the fighting boys.
Remus finally overpowered Sirius’s animalistic rage and had him pinned on the floor.
“What is your problem?” Remus asked with blood dripping from his lip onto Sirius’s shirt.
“Let me up,” Sirius said in a growl.
“Not a chance. You’re absolutely loony. I didn’t do anything to you.”
“Let me up,” Sirius repeated.
“Remus, let him up,” Shay said with quiet anger.
Remus looked up at her for a few seconds before agreeing and let Sirius get up.
“Listen, Shay, I’m sor…” Sirius didn’t get to finish.
“You’re a child.”
“Is this how you’ve always been? Because if that’s true, I have no future with you whatsoever. I don’t like this side of you Sirius,” Shay said and walked over to tend to Remus.
“Let me see your lip,” Shay said and grazed Remus’s lip with her thumb.
“It doesn’t look deep. Hold on,” Shay said and held her hand a few centimeters from Remus’s lip.
When she removed her hand, Remus’s lip was completely healed.
“You should head home and I’ll meet up with you in a few minutes,” Shay said with a small smile.
Remus nodded his head and went back to the fireplace.
“I think we should find somewhere to talk so you don’t make more of a scene,” Shay said and nodded her head to the group of kids gathering at the end of the corridor.
“I know where we can talk.”
Shay watched Sirius pace in front of a wall and thought he was absolutely nuts. She was shocked when a door suddenly appeared in the wall.
“It’s called the Room of Requirement. Only a few people know about it. We used to come here all the time when we were in school,” Sirius said and opened the door for Shay.
Shay walked past him and into the room and took in her surroundings. The room was dimly lit and it had a romantic feeling to it. Shay found it to be very annoying due to the circumstance.
“This isn’t the most appropriate setting,” Shay said and folded her arms over her chest.
“You used to love it,” Sirius said and shut the door behind him.
“Well, that was in the past. I’m obviously a different person now.”
“No you’re not. Yea, you’re a bit older and a little wiser to the world but you’re still the same person Shay. You just don’t remember it.”
“I can’t do this anymore Sirius,” Shay said quietly.
“What do you mean?”
“You scare me sometimes. I can’t be with someone who scares me.”
“So you’re going to date a werewolf instead?” Sirius asked in an angry tone.
“You should be ashamed of yourself. Remus never says a bad word about you. All he talks about is how close you guys used to be. How you, James and Peter became illegal animagis and made him feel like a normal kid for once. You helped change his life and he is forever grateful for that. But if I was him, I would have beaten the living daylights out of you. Sirius, I know you’re a good person, you just have a terrible way of letting it show.”
“He stole you from me,” Sirius said.
“Remus Lupin has never stolen anything in his life. I don’t remember what happened but I’m sure that I used my own brain and made my own decision,” Shay said and stepped closer to Sirius.
“Why don’t you want to be with me?” Sirius asked, his voice strained against the words.
“It’s not that, Sirius. I don’t know who I want to be with. I truly and honestly do not know. I have two people that say they love me and want to be with me. But I don’t remember who I loved more. I don’t remember anything from before and nobody is helping me piece it all back together. Do you know what it’s like to have everyone around you know everything about you, but you’re totally in the dark?” Shay spoke with frustration in her voice and eyes.
“You want to know our history? We’ve known each other since birth, we’ve been best friends since we could comprehend friendship. We started dating in our 7th year at Hogwarts after denying it for a long time. We moved in together after school. I proposed to you about a year and a half later. You said yes. That same night Niki was murdered and things got shaky. I became distant and disgruntled. You tried to help but things just fell apart quickly. I made a lot of mistakes but the day before you were captured, we had a talk and things were on the mend. Then I lost you. You were gone for seven months and there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about you. Then you came back to me,” Sirius said, leaving out a few vital details in their long history.
Shay just felt more confused then ever. She had heard this before, from Sirius, Lily and James. But something always felt off with what they said. She felt as if something was missing, that there were big holes in the story. Shay asked Remus once if she was getting the whole truth. He said, “Some things are a little to difficult to talk about” and left it at that.
“Why did we break up Sirius? Things don’t just fall apart for no good reason. And I don’t get why you were so upset by Niki’s death. Did you love her too?”
“Niki was a great person. A great friend to both of us. You, Niki, and Lily were inseparable. I loved Niki very much, but as a friend, even a sister. But I was never in love with her. That was Remus’s department,” Sirius said with a stiff smile.
The conversation was going in a direction that he was uncomfortable with.
“Sirius, I just don’t get it and I can’t figure out why. But until I can figure this out, we can’t be together. I’m not going to be with you or Remus. At least not yet.”
“I love you the most, Shay. You need to know that,” Sirius said almost frantically.
He couldn’t lose Shay again.
“I don’t doubt your love for me. I can feel it. But I do doubt my own feelings. What if I choose you and then I get my memory back and it turns out that I’m supposed to be with Remus? Do I leave you in the dust and heart broken? Is that what you want?” Shay asked softly.
“No,” Sirius whispered.
“Then give me time. If you love me like you say you do, then you’ll be patient and give me time.”
Shay apparated into Remus’s living room and found him in his favorite chair, staring into the fire. He broke away from the fire and smiled at Shay when she appeared.
“That was quicker than I thought it would be.”
“I didn’t have much to say to him,” Shay said with annoyance.
“Remus I want answers and he won’t give them to me. He talks around everything. And then I ask you and you say that you don’t want to talk about it. I’m going to ask you again tonight. Tell me now whether I’m wasting my time or not,” Shay said, getting straight to the point.
“What do you want to know?” Remus asked, his smile now gone.
“When did we get together?”
“We got together a few weeks before you disappeared.”
“How long had Sirius and I been apart before we got together?”
“You two had not been apart that long when we got together. But at the time, there was no way that you and Sirius were getting back together,” Remus said.
“Did it really end that bad for me and him? Sirius told me that we were getting along before I went missing,” Shay said with confusion.
“Shay, I’m not sure what to tell you.”
“Please Remus. Nobody is telling me anything. If Sirius isn’t being honest with me then I need to know. I don’t think I can take being lied to.”
“From what I heard, the night before you were captured Sirius had come to talk to you. I don’t know what you two discussed but all I know is that the conversation ended with you slapping him and kicking him out of Lily and James’s house. I’m not trying to make Sirius look like the bad guy but he really destroyed you. There are so many things that I can’t tell you because I wasn’t there,” Remus said with frustration.
He felt the need to tell Shay everything, but some things were not meant to be said by him.
“Remus, I don’t even know why Sirius and I broke up. He said that he was in a bad place after Niki died, which I don’t understand either. I know that you and Niki were together, I know that she was my best friend and she was a good friend to Sirius, but it doesn’t make sense in my mind that he would be that upset over it. I have three conclusions. One is that Sirius was in love with Niki, which he denies. The second is that my relationship with Sirius must not have been that strong because it fell apart so easily. The third is that he is lying to me and something else happened. If you can’t help me with this then at least tell me about Niki, because if she was my best friend then I don’t want to think of her in that light. Can you at least help me with that?” Shay asked.
Remus gave Shay a hesitant look. It was hard for him to talk about.
“Please Remus. I don’t think I’m asking too much,” Shay said and took his hands in hers.
“Ok. Why don’t we sit down on the couch?” Remus asked.
Shay nodded her head and let Remus lead her to the loveseat.
“Niki and I started dating at the beginning of our sixth year at Hogwarts. She was my first girlfriend and eventually became my first true love. I thought that Niki was the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with, but that was taken away from me on February 2, 1980. That’s the night she was murdered by death eaters and my life was in shambles after that. Niki and Sirius were friends, but Niki and I were in love and at the time you and Sirius were in love. And that was how it was, no questions asked. But after Niki died, things got complicated. I wasn’t looking to be with anyone; at the time, I couldn’t imagine being with anyone besides Niki. But we were spending everyday together at headquarters and we got to be really close. And then you stayed with me after you and Sirius broke up and that’s when I realized that I was getting feelings for you. I tried to deny it for a while, but then one night all those feelings came to a head and lucky for me you felt the same way. I think we could have had something great but luck has just never seemed to be on our side.”
Remus took a long drink of water before starting on the hard part of the story.
“We had sex that night. It probably happened too fast, but it was great. I know that you felt guilty the morning after because of Niki, you felt like you were betraying her. But we talked about it a little and you seemed to calm down after that. We ended up having a mission that day. It was unplanned and messy. Something terrible happened that day. Shay, Dumbledore talked to you about your powers, right?” Remus asked.
Shay nodded her head slowly. She still had trouble with the concept of her powers when all the magic seemed so new to her.
“You’re powers came to the forefront that day. You deflected the Avada Kedavra curse, the killing curse. You did something that was never done before. But when you deflected the curse it hit Peter’s girlfriend, Alana, and killed her. After that you just completely lost it. For about a week you sat there, in that chair,” Remus pointed to his favorite reading chair, “and drank about a bottle of booze a day. You started with clearing out my liquor cabinet, which didn’t have much to begin with, and then you started traveling into the muggle town and started buying muggle alcohol, which you conveniently discovered was stronger than fire whiskey. Then two days before you were captured, I came home and had enough. I had tried talking to you and you told me that our relationship couldn’t work out. But at the time I wasn’t going to let that happen. You got angry with me when I poured out your bottle of alcohol and I got mad at you for giving up when it seemed we needed you the most. Then I told you to either sober up or get out cause I didn’t want to watch you self-destruct anymore.”
Remus looked into Shay’s eyes and saw the shame. He didn’t want to continue but he knew he had to.
“After you left that night, I went back to headquarters to cool off a little. You ended up there, still drunk and angry. First you attacked Sirius and got him pissed at you. Then when I tried to take you back here, you told me something that completely devastated me. Before Niki was murdered she told you that she was four months pregnant and Niki never told me. You kept that from me for three months and then used it to hurt me. I don’t know why you did it and I may never find out. After you told me, I told you to have someone get you stuff out of my house because you were not welcome there anymore. I don’t think I’ve ever been that angry with anyone. And I wasn’t only angry with you though. I was angry with Sirius for breaking you. I was angry with Peter for making you feel like Alana’s death was your fault. And I was angry with Niki for feeling like she had to keep that from me. I was thinking about leaving all together. Then when we lost you, I didn’t expect it to hurt so much. It wasn’t until after I thought I lost you that I realized just how much I love you. The reason I was so distant when you came back was because I was afraid of losing you again and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to go through that again.”
When Remus looked at Shay again, he saw that her eyes were closed and she had a pained look on her face. He put his hand on hers and gently rubbed her hand with his thumb.
“Are you alright? Was that too much at once?” Remus asked gently.
“No. You can’t understand how grateful I am that somebody finally told me the truth about myself. I didn’t know I was such a terrible person,” Shay said with a grimace.
“No, you were never a terrible person. Yes, you are responsible for your own actions but there were events that got you to that point.”
“Let me guess. Sirius helped get me to that point,” Shay said and Remus could hear the grimace in her voice.
“Yes. His treatment of you and some other events.”
Shay shot up from the couch and stood in front of Remus, her arms folded across her chest and the agitation was clear on her face.
“Damn it, Remus. Do you want me?” Shay shouted, totally losing her temper.
“You know that I do,” Remus said, shocked by Shay’s sudden outburst.
“Then why aren’t you fighting for me? If you really wanted me then you would have told me what Sirius did to me. If it was that bad then you should tell me,” Shay continued to yell as she felt tears well up in her eyes.
“Shay, you know I can’t. That’s not my story to tell,” Remus said.
“If one more person tells me that I’m going to scream. I don’t care if it’s not your story! It’s my story and I want to know!” Shay yelled.
She had tears streaming down her face and her whole body was trembling.
Remus stood and embraced her tightly, resting his chin on top of her head.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t want to upset you like this,” he said soothingly and rubbed her back.
“I’m sick of not knowing Remus. I don’t care how bad it is, I just want to know who I am and what made me,” Shay whispered unevenly through her sobs.
Remus kept his arms securely around her, as if he was expecting her to disappear at any moment. The only sound was Shay’s crying, while Remus contemplated what to do.
“Shay, I’m not going to tell you what Sirius did so I can win you over,” Remus finally spoke.
Shay pulled her face away from his chest and sent a burning glare in his direction.
Remus spoke again before she had another outburst.
“I’m going to tell you because I think you deserve to know. Since the day we found out that you lost your memory, everyone told Sirius that he should be honest with you. I really do wish that Sirius would tell you this, but I think we’ve all given him enough time.”
Shay gave Remus a grateful look and saw the stress implanted deeply into his face. She waited for him to speak while he struggled with the decision he just made.
“Shay, the reason you and Sirius broke up was that he cheated on you,” Remus spoke the last four words in barely a whisper.
Shay felt like she got hit in the face with a two by four. Remus watched the hurt creep into her eyes as she realized what he said.
“Who was it?” Shay asked softly.
“Her name is Amélie Rousseau. She is from France and she had come to help the Order because she is seeress. She was brought in to work with you because of your occlumency skills. Sirius was at headquarters when she arrived and he was supposed to bring Amélie back to the house to introduce her to you. You weren’t home that day because you and Sirius had gotten into a big fight that morning. When you did go home you found Sirius and Amélie in bed together. And that’s the night you came to stay with me.”
“How long were they together for?” Shay asked and felt her temper slowly rise.
“About two months. They broke up the day before you disappeared. That’s what Sirius meant about you two had been getting along before you left. Sirius doesn’t do well when he’s alone. As soon as he realized Amélie wasn’t going to be with him, he went crawling back to you. Amélie went back to France about a week after you disappeared. You and Sirius do have a long history. It’s rocky though, it always has been. One of you usually ends up getting hurt. It was your turn the last time,” Remus finished.
Shay was so angry that her tears felt like they were on fire.
“Hey, this is why I didn’t want to tell you. I’ve seen you cry so many times now. I feel that we have more sad times then happy,” Remus said softly and wiped Shay’s tears gently off her face with his thumbs.
“And why is that Remus? It sounds like I wasn’t happy with either one of you. Maybe I would be better off finding someone completely new and forget my old life all together,” Shay suggested.
“Shay, even if we weren’t together, I would never let you stop being my friend. I’ll always be there for you, even if you do end up with that prick,” Remus joked at the end.
Shay hit him playfully.
“Don’t do that in front of me. I hate the thought that you two used to be such good friends. It makes me sad that I came in between that,” Shay said with remorse.
“Hey,” Remus said and put his hands on both sides of her face, “you didn’t cause anything. I extended the olive branch to Sirius a couple times. But when he started accusing me of being a traitor, I don’t see how our friendship can be repaired.”
“I know you’re not a traitor, Remus. I can see loyalty in those amber eyes of yours. You would never cheat on me, would you?” Shay tested.
Remus smiled before answering.
“You’re kidding me, right? I’m twenty years old and I’ve been with two people in my life. You’re number two on that short list,” Remus said with a small laugh.
“I can tell you’re a good person Remus Lupin. I have a feeling that I don’t deserve you,” Shay said sincerely.
“You deserve better than what anyone can give you Shay. You’re a good person and a great friend. Nobody can deny that,” Remus said with a smile, which Shay returned.
“What are you going to do about Sirius?” Remus asked.
“To be honest, I’d rather not think about it right now. I’m here with you and that’s all that matters,” Shay said and wiped the rest of the tears off her face.
“You look beautiful.”
“I look like a wreck but thanks anyways.”
“Listen to me,” Remus said and lifted Shay’s chin so she would look at him, “I’m absolutely serious. You look as beautiful as the first day I met you.”
“Is that a compliment? We met when we were eleven. I was probably very awkward.”
“Shay, I don’t think you have the ability to be awkward. You are a very smooth individual. That’s the Slytherin blood in you,” Remus said with a smirk.
Shay smiled and shook her head.
“Now that was definitely an insult. Take it back,” Shay said playfully.
“No way. It’s part of what makes you, you.”
There was an easy silence between the two of them. When Shay looked into Remus’s eyes, she forgot all about Sirius and the fact that she had no memory. She forgot all her worries in that moment.
Remus leaned forward a little.
“Is it alright?” he asked before proceeding.
Shay answered him by placing her lips on his. It felt good, it felt right, and it made Shay feel guilty.
However, after what Shay had learned, she easily pushed the guilt to the back of her mind and enjoyed the company that was in front of her.
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