Chapter 23 : The Twenty-third.
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I was practically finished transfiguration by the time the had got there. I thought I had done pretty well personally. I mean, besides from the fact I had less work to do than most other Ravenclaws because I only took three things, I had achieved straight O’s all year. Not to mention I’d joined the Quidditch team and we had won our first match. Our next match was against Slytherin in a few weeks and I wasn’t really looking forward to it. Slytherin beaters were in a whole new league to what I was playing. Not to mention the fact they have no qualms with cheating to win the match. Or breaking my neck.
The all sat down and I nodded to say hello whilst I finished my sentence with a smile. I piled up the parchment and looked up, I’d finally finished. “Hey, you’re late.” I told them.
“You’re early.” Sirius countered. I checked my watch to see if they were actually late. They were, but just by a couple of minutes.
“You’re still late though. Look,” I raised my left arm, “thirty-two past seven.”
“I think you’ll find that’s twenty-eight minutes to eight,” James said with a smirk.
“Shut up, you.”
They all took their seat around the bench and put their papers down, smirking. Damn them, I’m friends with them again for a few hours and they’re already annoying me. It must be some kind of game they’ve got going on amongst themselves.
“So where’s Peter this fine night?” I asked to stop their grinning.
“Where do you think?” Sirius asked with a faint eye-roll.
“With Annabelle then. Why’d you sound annoyed about it?”
“Because if he’s not ditching us to be with her then she’s with us.”
“Ah, Annabelle’s not exactly your cup of tea then?”
“Well she keeps telling me to study more and to be frank, she’s painfully dull.” Sirius grumbled.
I shouldn’t have laughed, really I shouldn’t have. But I did. Actually I burst out in fits of uncontrollable giggling. It was mean but it was true. I mean I liked Annabelle and everything but she could be quite bossy if you weren’t careful. Once I started laughing, they all did. As if I’d given them permission to or something. I tried to stop but it was just so much fun being friends with them and laughing again. Eventually, we managed to stop which was a relief, I figured I’d die laughing there.
“Does Peter know none of you like her?”
“Nope, and we’re not going to tell him. He’s happy so we’re happy.” Remus said.
“That’s good of you.”
So we got to work, having exhausted the subject of Peter and Annabelle. I started on charms while they continued their transfiguration projects. Sirius was copying some of mine although he assured me that he had actually done the work, he had just forgotten his own notes. I didn’t really mind, we were supposed to be doing it in pairs anyway I think he just forgot that.
“Well, that’s me wrapped up Transfiguration and I can guarantee you that that report is O level if not better. We all know how good I am at Transfiguration. I won’t be surprised if McGonagall kisses me after reading that baby," James said, standing up.
“Ah, so modest aren’t you?” Sirius said, grinning at him.
“Of course I am. But seriously, that is perfection. I’m off to go see Lily now, I’ll leave that here in case any of you morons want to copy it. We can’t all be amazing.”
And with that hideously confident statement, James walked out of the library with the happiest look I have ever seen. I wasn’t sure if it was because he was seeing Lily later or because he had just finished eight months of work. I was inclined towards the Lily option. Apparently at Slughorn’s christmas party, James had told Lily he loved her, in the serious way this time, and she had said it back. He probably fainted but I wasn’t sure, I wasn't invited.
It was silent in the library, of course it was, it was a library for Pete’s sake but I mean it was quiet. Quiet. Even with Sirius in the room. Madam Pince was probably hiding round a bookshelf waiting for one of us to speak over three decibels so she could kick us out. Or them out. If that happened I would pretend not to know them. Really, I would.
“It’s good you two are back to be just friends again.” Sirius said, Remus shot him a filthy look.
“There it is again!” I said, annoyed by the repeated use of the word just when they talked about me.
“What is?” Sirius said, looking at my parchment to see if I’d made a mistake.
“You, why are you all saying just in such a weird way?”
“What do you mean?” Sirius said in a curious voice although he was smirking so I had a feeling this was the desired effect he had thought of when he decided to say it.
“You said ‘just friends’ like it’s a bad thing. We were just friends before what’s changed now?” I asked, looking at both of them this time so I could try and guess what was going on in Remus’ mind. “Apart from the obvious of course.”
“Nothing.” Remus said, “nothing has changed. Sirius is just being annoying. As usual.”
“No I’m not!” Sirius said with a mock pout.
“No he’s not.” I parroted, “you said it before in charms and again to Lily. Clearly I am missing something.”
“No, you’re not missing anything. Sirius is just trying to annoy everyone, as usual.”
“Well, I say I’m missing something and I’m not going to be happy until I find out what it is.”
“The thing is Nyx-” Sirius started.
“Sirius, shut up. Now.” Remus warned him. Sirius just ignored him flat out.
“-the thing is, Remus here, doesn’t want to be just friends. He wants to pick up right where the two of you left off before the little incident occurred. Like it had never occurred.”
And with a punch in the arm from Remus, a quick laugh and a light-fingered attitude towards mine and James' reports, Sirius was off, leaving chaos behind him. The most silent, awkward kind of chaos I have ever experienced. I had to break the silence, I just had to. I don’t think I could have actually survived in that for a moment longer.
“So…” Yep, that was my creative way to break the silence. Remus said nothing. Which was very helpful. “What the hell was that all about then?” Again, nothing. If anything, he looked petrified. “Going to bother answering any time soon or are you just going to sit there? Because if you’re just going to sit there I’ll have to go and ask Sirius and I’m pretty sure you’ll want me to hear your version rather than his.”
He said absolutely nothing.
“Right then. I’ll just go ask Sirius then.” I stuck to my threats, I always do.
I made to get up but then he finally bloody talked.
“Wait, wait and I’ll tell you. I was going to tell you anyway.”
“Finally.” I said, sitting back down, curious as to why on earth he would wait that bloody long if he was planning on telling me anyway. Mustering up some courage? “Why does everyone keep saying just?”
“Because I may or may not have said in the common room that I wanted us to go back to where we were.”
“But we are, we were friends before it happened and we’re friends now. Sometimes you Gryffindors aren’t very clever.”
“Yes, that I’ll agree with but we weren’t just friends before though were we?” He asked, looking right in my eyes like he was going to see the answer in them.
“What do you mean?” I asked, knowing full well he meant the non-kiss on the lake.
“Well, I know it was my fault and everything but we kissed before you found out what happened. And I can’t help but wonder what we’d be like right now if you hadn’t found out.”
“What do you think we’d be like?”
“I don’t know. That’s why I’ve been wondering.”
“Honestly, I’ve been wondering that too.”
“What do you think we’d be like then?”
“I suppose we would probably be going out by now. If you had the confidence to ask, of course,” I said.
“Really?” He seemed shocked and I immediately regretted saying anything. I should have said nothing. Nothing would have been a heck of a lot easier than saying ‘we would be going out’. What sort of thing was that to say to someone anyway? What kind of response was I even expecting?
For a Ravenclaw, sometimes I’m not so smart.
“Well, I don’t really know but that’s where most of my wonderings lead.” I was going to pretend to write something in my report, you know just to break the stare but I had forgotten Sirius had nabbed it. So I ended up writing on the desk and then covering up the ink stain with a text book. I guess it was just Remus that made me forget I owned a brain.
“That’s really quite interesting.” He said after an awkward silence. To be honest I had been hoping for words but maybe some that were slightly less ambiguous would have been nice. For a change.
“Nice to know you find the inner workings of my brain, interesting.” I said quietly. I probably just meant to mutter it to myself but ended up saying it anyway. I seemed to have lost any control over my voice and I wasn’t surprised. It was getting just as sick at the situation as I was. “Are you planning on giving me an honest answer now that I gave mine?”
“I suppose I probably should,” he was smirking now, like the fun, jokey smirk I remembered from a few months back. “But I won’t.”
“Why not? There’s no point teasing me.”
“Because I much prefer your version of events. They sound like a whole lot of fun if I’m honest. Much better than my ramblings.”
“Aw, but I bet your ramblings would be fun too.. There’s no harm in saying it now that I’ve embarrassed myself.”
“Ah, but there’s no harm in me not saying them now that I know what you were thinking.”
“Well that’s just not fair. I might just leave if you don’t tell me.”
“Fine, I’ll tell you but you can’t tell a soul. I might not be Sirius but I’m still a marauder can’t have everyone thinking that I’m softer than a unicorn can we?”
“Okay, I promise.”
I put my quill down and folded my arms on the desk, just to make It clear I was paying complete attention to what he was about to say so if he lied, hopefully I would be able to tell or he’d be too scared to lie in the first place.
“I saw us going out.”
“Liar! That’s not embarrassing at all plus it’s what I just said.”
“Damn. Fine, I really saw a whole bunch of different things. The best was obviously going out which I did see a couple of times. The worst would probably be you beating me up and declaring that you would never speak to me again.”
“Well, it did come to close to that. You left me in the middle of a damn lake. I have bruises on my knees from falling over!”
“Bruises, really? I mean it’s not like you were attacked by a werewolf the next day or anything.”
“Point taken.” I said, realising how stupid it was to be complaining about bruises when I had pretty much been gutted by a black dog before and nearly eaten by a wolf after. I barely even flinched when he said it that time, which is a vast improvement. I had barely been able to think the word werewolf for two weeks.
“Sorry about that by the way. I guess I get a bit flighty when I’m embarrassed.”
“A bit? More like a lot.”
“Point taken.” He said, smirking.
We both got back to work. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed. I had presented him with what I thought was a perfect opportunity to ask me to the next Hogsmeade weekend next month. Apparently not. Or maybe he just didn’t want to ask me out? I guess paranoia was just away to set in. Probably would have too were it not for…
“Do you want to go to Hogsmeade next weekend?” Remus blurted out about an hour later. Okay, ten minutes later but it seemed like an hour.
“Um, sure. Where do you want me to meet you guys?”
“I was thinking more like you and then me, in Hogsmeade, together, sort of like a make-up date. To go along with our wonderings.”
“Ah, found some courage have we?”
“I think I must have,” he said, smirking and then he turned serious again, “so what do you think?”
“I think that sounds like it could be a lot of fun. I’ll see you there.”
We both ended up smiling at each other for ages, I bet Madam Pince was even laughing at how stupid we looked. When we eventually did get back to out Charms work, we would glance up every so often to see ourselves glancing at each other. And then smiling some more. I think I needed a good punch in the face so I would stop smiling. I was just praying that Maia or Isabelle didn’t walk past to see me looking like such a moron. They would happily punch some sense into me.
I didn’t care though, Remus and I were officially going on a date. If I could have gotten away with no one seeing me, I would have fist punched the air. I didn’t though.
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