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Chapter 27 : The Twenty-seventh.
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Everything was going pretty great at Hogwarts for me. It was my last year, exams were soon but I wasn’t worried and Ravenclaw were actually in with a chance of winning the quidditch cup for a change. Remus and I were happily in a normal relationship that, to my liking, was not very showy. The same could not be said for Maia and Tom though. About four times a day I’d have to tell them to get a room to only then have to listen them complain for half an hour about how they could not get a room. But apart from annoying friends, perfect.
We were studying in the library when things started to go belly up for a change. I should have known that everything was too good to actually be true. First of all, I had only just realised how little I had actually prepared for my NEWTS. Everyone else kept telling me that I had prepared fine, that I was going to pass everything but I had a very heavy feeling in the bottom of my stomach that told me I was not in fact going to pass my exams but fail them all miserably with troll grades.
“No, no, no! That’s not right?” I viciously scribbled out a line of work that had taken me an hour to write. I even ripped the parchment a little which was saying something because this was heavy duty stuff.
“What’s not right?” Remus asked, looking up from his own notes to see a very angry me. If I could have taken a guess at what I looked like at that moment I would probably go with the word banshee. My hair was probably in a weird array of spikes and flicks because I’d had my hands through it so many times, my face was probably red because my angry heat and my expression, I could just tell that was hideous.
“Everything,” I said exasperatedly, “it’s all wrong.” I sounded like an absolute baby but in my defense I was very stressed. It was a good thing Remus was a werewolf because I was fairly sure only dogs would be able to hear me my voice was that high pitched.
“I’m sure it’s fine,” Remus said to try and calm me. Shame it never worked.
“No, it’s not fine, Remus, it’s horrible. You’re just saying that because you’re going to pass you’re exams. I’m only taking three and I’m going to fail them all. I’ll be the worst Ravenclaw ever.”
Remus chuckled. Did he want me to hit him? Because I would.
“What?” I asked angrily, “something funny?”
“Sort of,” Remus said, still smiling despite my threatening glares.
“Well I’m glad my failures amuse you.”
“Can I see your notes for a second?”
“Fine, they’re wrong anyway,” I chucked them across the table at him.
He read them over muttering the words underneath his breath as he scanned the page. He was still smiling and I was three seconds away from jinxing him silly. After about five minutes he looked up from the page and gave me a funny look.
“These all seem fine, Nyx. Apart from the bit you scratched out, that was the only bit that was actually wrong. Why are you so stressed about exams? You’ve never done badly before.” He passed me them back and I read them again to make sure he was telling the truth. He was.
“Because I need these exams. If I don’t pass these I won’t get a job anywhere and I really want to get that ministry position. I’ve never actually felt the need to pass them before and now that I do, I’m scared I won’t get them. Stupid, right?”
“Only a little,” he smiled at me. “I think you need a break.”
“I think she does too, she looks bloody awful,” a booming voice said from the library entrance.
“Holy crow, Sirius! You scared the crap out of me.” He ignored this. I jumped out of my skin and then felt like an idiot.
“You know you two are the only couple I know who actually go and study when they say ‘we’re going to the library’, then again I wouldn’t expect anything less from the couple of swots in Hogwarts.”
“Not true,” Remus said, “James and Lily study too. You seem to be the only person that doesn’t study at all.”
“That’s because I don’t need to study and for your information, James and Lily study in amongst other things.”
“Well, that’s nice for them, Sirius but if I get distracted, I’ll probably fail all of my exams,” I said, rubbing my temple.
Remus and Sirius rolled their eyes at the same time, I mean the exact same time. It was practically synchronized. Was I the only one that realised these exams were life-changing, future-deciding exams?
“So I take it you’re not going to let me study any more today then?” I asked, I was pretty sure he wouldn’t. I mean I didn’t hang out with him as much as I used to after the project finished but I still knew he wasn’t going to let the last few months of Hogwarts pass without annoying me somehow. Guess that was his revenge for me spending too much time with my fellow ravenclaws.
“Well you have been at it for hours. Maybe taking a break would actually help.”
“I don’t think a marauder break would to be honest. I’ll probably just wind up in the hospital wing or McGonagall’s office.”
“Aw, don’t be mean. I can be sensible and still have fun.”
I was away to ask how on earth he would be able to defy his very nature of troublemaking when another, very depressed marauder walked into the library. I mean Peter was never exactly a barrel of laughs but this was just ridiculous. I was surprised he was even able to stand his shoulders were that slumped. He walked over silently and sat down, completely silent oblivious to the three of us staring at him. Eventually our looks managed to rouse some life out of him.
“Hey guys,” he said slowly. It was like listening to a minister at a funeral. I don’t think he realised how bad he looked. At any rate he was acting like he was as normal as usual.
“Pete,” Sirius began slowly, “are you okay, mate?”
“What?” Peter looked up like he was in a trance. I was fairly sure he wasn’t though, “oh, yeah. I’m fine. Why?”
“You don’t look good.”
“Right, yeah. Well that’s probably because, well, I guess that might be because Annabelle dumped me.” Now that I knew the reason for him being so depressive, I sort of understood why he was acting the way he was. But that didn’t mean I understood why she dumped him.
“She did what?” I wasn’t exactly angry about it, it didn’t really have anything to do with me, but it came out as angry. At least I think the others took this as me being angry at Annabelle so they wouldn’t think I was such a psychopath.
“She dumped me,” he repeated. He was so out of it he didn’t realise I wasn’t expecting an answer.
“Did she say why, mate?” Remus asked. Sirius and Remus were talking very quietly which I thought was because of Peter but then I also realised I was getting possibly the filthiest look from Madam Pince. It probably had something to do with Pete too though.
“Something about me not having enough ambition or something. I think it’s because I didn’t want to study as much as she wanted me to.”
“I’m sure she’s just stressed about exams, Peter,” I said, “once they’re over she’ll realise what an idiot she’s been. Trust me.” I smiled softly at him. It was a shame. Peter really did like her.
“I don’t think so,” he said sadly, “she sounded normal enough to me.”
“Nyx is right, Wormtail,” Remus said, smiling slightly, “you should have seen Nyx ten minutes ago. She was going insane.”
I let that insane comment slide for Peter’s sake, “he’s right. It’s a ravenclaw thing. We’re made for worrying about exams. Just like you lot wear your hearts on your sleeves. It a personality trait.”
“You think?” He sounded hopeful. I was happy he wasn’t upset or depressed anymore but I didn’t want to fill him with hope either. Not until I’d talked to Annabelle about it.
“Sure,” Sirius said, patting him on the shoulder. “And if she doesn’t, she’s a moron. You can do better than her.”
From the way he said it, I almost thought that Sirius was glad Peter and Annabelle split up. It certainly meant he wouldn’t have to talk to her anymore. They were like polar opposites to each other. Maybe Annabelle had thought Peter wasn’t ambitious enough, it does sound a little like her.
I tried to find Annabelle after we all left the library so I could talk to her about it but I couldn’t find her anywhere. Even at night, she was asleep before I even got to the common room so I couldn’t talk to her then either. I had a funny feeling she was avoiding me on purpose just to annoy me. People do seem to enjoy annoying me and I wasn’t happy about it. I wasn’t going to interrogate her about it or anything. I just wanted to talk to her. See what was going on.
I didn’t actually see her until a couple of weeks after. I had no idea Annabelle was so good at hiding and being evasive. She could be an auror with the skills she had. When I did finally catch up to her, she had that look on her face like she knew what I was going to say. It was pretty obvious what I wanted to talk to her about though.
“Annabelle,” now that I’d found her, I didn’t know where to start, “Peter told me what happened. You okay?”
“I’m fine, why?” I think that was a brush off and the question was rhetorical. I ignored it.
“It’s just that Peter seemed pretty cut up about it.”
“Yes, well everyone gets upset after a break-up,” she said irritably. Obviously I’d hit a nerve. I suppose I could have been slightly more tactful about it. She probably thought I was on Peter’s side or something stupid like that.
“Yeah, I was just making sure you were alright, want to talk about it?”
“Not really, no.”
“I suppose he told you I was a horrible person didn’t he?” This didn’t sound like not wanting to talk about it.
“No, Annabelle, of course he didn’t. He’s head over heels for you. All he said was that you broke up with him over his ambition or something stupid like that which I didn’t believe obviously but he wasn’t bad mouthing you.”
“Well he was right.”
“What?” I asked, completely confused over the whole situation.
“That’s why I broke up with him.”
“Yes,” she said, looking down at her textbook, “he’s just not my type. He’s really sweet and everything obviously but there just seems to be something missing from him and I may have mentioned I thought it was ambition but that wasn’t the only reason I ended it.”
I wasn’t really sure what to say to that. At all. So I patted her shoulder. I was never any good at comforting people, Annabelle didn’t even look like she needed comforting so I figured a pat on the shoulder was just the right amount of comforting. The only thing I was annoyed about was that I was now going to have to go and tell Peter and the rest of them that there was very little chance of Annabelle getting back together with him after exams. That would be fun. Not. But I was going to have to do it. Peter deserved to know.
I traipsed my way to the great hall. It was two o’clock and I figured one of the four of them would be eating something and would know where the others were. It was solid logic. I must not have been looking where I was going because I found myself missing the doorway by about half a foot and bashing my arms off the pillar. It would have been painful normally but to tell you the truth, I still hadn’t been able to get the words ‘blood traitor’ off my arm. Normal healing spells, which I was usually very good at, were not working at all. I hoped it was just a case of time fading it. It seemed less red than from when it happened. Maybe. Anyway, the bump hurt. A lot.
Sure enough though, there were marauders in the great hall, eating. Probably the reason I found Annabelle in the library. Peter saw me coming over first and his eyes lit up. I guess I was trying so hard to conceal the pain in my arm I was smiling. I let it drop immediately and took on a more sombre and fitting expression. I sat down next to Remus and was immediately bombarded with questions.
“Well, what did she say? Did she seem upset? Do you think she’ll go back out with me after exams?”
“Calm down Peter,” James said, “giver her a chance to breathe.”
“Well,” I started uncertainly, “she said that she broke up with you mostly because she felt you were different people and I don’t think she’s looking to start over at the end of the year. Sorry. She did seem upset though.” Okay, so I stretched the truth at the end but you can’t really blame me. He just looked so depressed.
“Oh, okay then.” He sort of hung his head a little so I reached over the table and robbed his shoulder. I felt horrible for thinking it, but it was bound to happen eventually. Annabelle and Peter were cute together obviously, but looking back on it, the whole thing seemed a little awkward. Obviously not for Peter.
“Listen, mate,” James said, “there’s plenty other mermaids in the sea-”
“-or the black lake,” Sirius offered.
“Exactly, Padfoot. You’ll find someone else. For now, maybe you can focus on your exams and that’ll make sure you have an amazing job and heaps of girls will be chasing you around.”
“You could always try asking out Rosmerta from the Three Broomsticks, she’s pretty good looking,” Sirius said, “when we’re out of Hogwarts, there will be so many girls out there that we haven’t met and that we probably should. You’re bound to find someone you like.”
“Cheers, guys,” Peter said, “I think I’m just going to go and revise for a bit.”
“I’ll come with you,” Remus said.
“No, it’s alright, I’d rather study alone, in the dorm.”
He stood up and left looking very depressed muttering something that sounded a lot like ‘I'll show her ambition’.
And there was me thinking that everything was great at Hogwarts. Guess I could think again. Or maybe not, that would take up too much time from NEWT studying which I really needed to do.
A/N: A Peter-ish chapter for a change, obviously there's still a lot of Nyx, she's fun to write d: I always feel like there's something missing when I read a story about the Marauders without Peter even though I don't like him as a person, he's a great character. Anyway, I hoped you liked this chapter and I would like to thank everyone who continues to read and review and favourite. Chapter seem to be taking me ages to write these days. I'm only 500 words into the next one. Maybe it's my brain not wanting to finish the story? Thanks for reading, Alex! (:
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