Marlene McKinnon sat on her bed with her legs crossed, a magazine resting on her lap lazily. She looked up from it wearing her usual bored expression, her hooded eyes landing on me- the heap on the floor.
She said nothing and she made no movement. She just stared, waiting.
“He kissed me.” I blurted out. I suppose I was in slight shock and severe disbelief. How could someone do such horrible things, yet want to kiss me? It was just so confusing.
The motionless Marlene stood up in haste and walked quickly over to me, her long shadow covering me. A hand extended, I reached up to pull it and she assisted me to my bed were we sat opposite to each other.
It was so odd that Marlene, someone I despised and who despised me, could sit so comfortably across from one another as if we were old mates catching up. Her look of extreme interest somewhat frightened me.
“Who?” Marlene wondered.
“So, you are going along with my plan then?” She asked, basically salivating.
My eyes grew wide with horror. Now, I remembered why I didn’t like her.
“No!” I exclaimed, making a face of disgust.
“Well, you kissed him!” Marlene yelled. I suppose I just brought out the emotion in her.
“No, no, no!” I began. “We were fighting and I told him to bugger off, and then he just kissed me.
I pushed him away and I slapped him so hard his mother probably felt it.”
Marlene’s jaw dropped to the floor. “What’d he do?”
“He told me to wait, but I didn’t.” I said, looking at my palms in awe. The one I had hit Sirius with stung and shined red, like his face had.
In the midst of my discovery, Marlene had pushed up off of the bed and folded her hands across her chest in annoyance. She began to pace. After living with Marlene for seven years, despite not being friendly, I knew that she was pissed off. I just wasn’t sure what she was pissed off about, Sirius for kissing me or me for not going along with her plan.
“McKinnon…” I said, slowly.
She whipped her long blond hair around to look at me in the eye, her eyes narrowed. “You are so pathetic. I can’t even look at you.”
“That’s funny considering…” I began, but was cut off.
“Shut it, Valentine!” she started. “I don’t understand you and I don’t understand him, anymore at least. Why can’t you be normal and want revenge? Why does he want you and not me?”
I opened my mouth to speak but Marlene had raised a hand to stop me. Instead, she grabbed the curtains around my bed and closed them with angst. I heard her clicking and clacking of her heels as she went to her, I’m assuming, bed and closed her own curtains with an equal amount of force.
Everything was going wrong, but at least I knew I was making the right decision. I was not going to stoop to Marlene’s level, however tempting it sounded. It wasn’t right. I could never play with someone’s emotions.
As I slipped myself under my fleece blanket, brought from home, there was a knock on our door. Obviously, it was coming from a male… as any female would just be allowed to enter and one of the 7th year girls would just waltz in as it was their room.
“Bloody hell!” I hear Marlene exclaim. “It better not be Wakefield for a late night snog.”
I almost giggled at her outrageous slaggy ways, until I remembered that I was slightly depressed and it would be completely unorthodox to laugh at a time like this.
I hear her open the door slightly and ask, “What do you want?”
I cannot hear the other voice though.
“Merlin’s saggy left pant leg! She’s behind her sodding curtain wallowing in self-pity.”
My eyes probably grew as wide as Severus Snape’s when confronted with shampoo as I waited to see who had come to visit me. I silently prayed to myself.
“Not Sirius, not Sirius, not Sirius. Oh, please, not Sirius.”
“Val?” A voice asked curiously, as a hand opened the curtain slowly.
“Remus,” I said, staring up at him with a frown.
He did what I knew he would do, because we had always done this. He climbed into bed with me and placed his arm around my waist. I would sometimes wonder if Remus and I should just be together, as we were very good at it. It seemed like everything just fit with us. The way our hands intertwined, the way the outlines of our body meshed, the way we were both always sort of sad. Somehow, we had never really crossed the line of our close friendship. Our lips never touched (save for that once in the corridor), our bare bodies never collided, and our mouths never uttered the words you would expect from two people laying so closely together. We were comfortable and comforting to one another because we were one in the same.
Remus Lupin’s cheek rested against my own and his hot breath somehow made me feel safe. We didn't talk for a while, knowing that there was someone else in the room. The silence was fine, but it seemed to give Marlene the wrong impression.
“I can’t take this,” she muttered. “I’ll be back later.”
And with that she left with the slam of the door. Remus let out a bit of a giggle.
“Feisty,” he said, and I could feel his smile on my face.
“She is trying to get me to seduce Sirius as revenge.” I blurted out, knowing that the plan will never be taken into action.
“She’s mad.” He said, squeezing me.
“He kissed me,” I said, turning around to face Remus. Our hands become intertwined, resting against my pillow.
Remus said nothing, but the shock on his face grew apparent and I felt his hand go limp in mine. He was as shocked as I was.
“I pushed him off of me and he went in again. I slapped him.” I showed Remus my pink hand and he gave it a little peck as if to make it better.
“I wonder why he would do that…” Remus wondered aloud as if I was not in the room.
“Oh, well that makes me feel bloody special.” I said, with a sarcastic tone.
“You know I think you are beautiful, as does the rest of the 7th year.” He said. “Sirius has never really expressed interest in you. Maybe your naked body did it for him.”
“Christ, Remus! Sometimes I swear you don’t have a filter between your brain and mouth.” I groaned as he gave me a little smirk. I happened to have the same problem.
“Sorry, I’m just curious. Sirius and I are best mates, I think he would have told me by now if he’d had a thing for you.”
“I don’t think he does.” I said. “I think he thought everything would just magically be better if he charmed me with his good looks and kissing techniques.”
“I suppose I should tell him he needs to come up with a new game plan.” Remus said with a laugh, tucking a strand of my hair behind my ear.
“Stop it,” I said, sometimes I felt like we were crossing the lines of friendship. It felt as though we were something more- which we were, but even more than that.
“Why?” He said, moving closer. “Am I making you uncomfortable?”
“No, you git.” I replied. “Don’t you ever wonder why we do this though? What will happen if we ever end up with other people? Won’t it be odd?”
Remus paused and made a face of pure thought.
“No, I don’t wonder why we do this. It just feels natural. It makes me feel good, it makes you feel good. We aren’t shagging and we aren’t doing anything wrong. We’ve never really kissed. I like helping you and you like helping me.”
I sighed loudly.
“We have kissed before, if you are forgetting. The incident that caused my current predicament.” I stated.
“Yes, well, that wasn’t of my own accord. You, however, kiss back all by yourself.” He said, his grin growing wider and smugger by the second.
“Ah, yes, but you chose me. Don’t be dimwitted, you know that any girl would snog you, and shag you for that matter. You chose me because you wanted to kiss me.” I said, it seemed my own filter had suddenly vanished.
“I won’t lie. I did want to kiss you, and I’d kiss you again…”
“… but I’ve still got your mate’s kiss on my lips?” I laughed.
“No, no. I don’t want things to change and I don’t think that you or I could ever be together because I know that you love James and you know that I love Lily.” He said this with great sadness. I had never really heard him say it out loud, that he loved Lily, because for the longest time he didn’t want to admit it to himself.
“You know I love you, too, though.” I said, looking up at him sadly. It was true.
“As you know I love you.” He said, exasperated. “We both know we don’t love each other like we love them, our love is… different. It is friendship, trust, adoration. Our love for them borders on obsessive. I don’t want you and me to be together because… because…”
I finished for him. “Just because it would be easier than having unrequited love with them.”
“Right,” he nodded. “Remind me why we are all so messed up? I wish we could all go back to first year when no one knew that we were all going to end up liking each other.”
I giggled a little bit. “Sadly, my friend, I was already in that boat. I can recall liking James since the day I’ve gotten off the train.”
“We don’t count you, Val. You aren’t like the others.”
“Why does everyone keep saying that?” I begged him to tell me, remembering that Sirius had said the same thing.
“Because it is true. You’ve always been a bit different.” He said, smiling.
“Says the boy who always has mysterious scratches across his face,” I winked. I had known his furry little secret for about a year already.
Remus and I had fallen asleep during our talk at some point or another. As I blinked my light-sensitive eyes, I realized that I was splayed across my friend’s chest and my curtain was open slightly. Through it, I could see Lily Evans smiling whilst sitting up in her bed across from mine.
She walked over and opened my curtains gently. The sun was shining directly onto Remus’ face and he began to flinch slightly. From my view, everyone else in our dorm had gone off to breakfast and their morning classes. Luckily, Remus, Lily, and I all had a free period.
“Good morning, lovelies.” Lily said, with her red hair shining like gold while the sun hit the back of her head like a halo. Her and her bloody good looks, sheesh.
“Good morning, Lilykins.” I smiled at her, she was my best mate after all.
“You two looked comfy.” She had caught us in this same stance before; it was nothing new to her. Yet it was still rather confusing to others. Hell, it was confusing to us. Luckily, none of the other Marauders knew about mine and Remus’ little connection beyond being good mates.
As Remus opened his eyes, the look on his face was apparent. He had a lot more to lose by Lily seeing us in this position. While she said she believed me when I said that Remus and I were nothing more than… friends, she always had that smug little smirk when she caught us in this position. The same one she happened to wear when she had gotten something right in class. While it didn’t really affect my situation with James, not that he would care, it did sort of sabotage Remus’ chances with Lily.
He sat up in bed beside me, a nervous look spreading across his scarred face. Looking from me to Lily, he got up quickly and pecked us both of the forehead as he said, “I’ve got to go, loves.”
And then he was gone.
Lily’s eyes narrowed in on me.
“One of these days, McGonagall is going to realize that boys come into our dorm frequently and she’ll have Dumbledore set up a barrier or something like it and you’ll all get detention! I’m Head Girl, I’m already breaking some kind of moral code by letting you lot get away with that!”
I smiled at my friend, “And for that, I thank you.”
And then, suddenly, I remembered the events of the night before. Nothing was really better, but it didn’t feel as horrible anymore. I guess one could say I had kind of gotten over it. The incident was no longer as detrimental. Yet, now the Sirius kiss seemed all the more confusing and so much worse than his earlier misdeeds.
“What is wrong?” Lily asked. My face must have grown solemn.
“Sirius kissed me last night.” I said, no longer want to break down into tears. I wanted to figure out what the bloody hell had gone through Sirius Black’s mind. “I slapped him.”
“He is a wanker.” She said, looking at my hand to inspect for injuries. “You could have just hexed him, you know.”
“Yes, the muggle in me kicked in though. It was kind of like one of the soap operas my mum watches. I quite enjoyed smacking him.” I said, mindlessly.
“You seem… numb or something, Val.” Lily said; her motherly instinct showing.
“No, no. I’m just confused.”
“Oh, Merlin no. I hate him more than I hate Divination. I just don’t understand why he did it. It makes no sense, even Remus said it was really odd and he knows everything there is to know about anything.” I said, I could feel my forehead scrunch up in thought.
“Don’t hurt yourself there, skippy.” Lily said, ruffling a hand through my hair with care.
There was a moment of silence.
“So, were you and Remus…” Lily began.
“No! Lily, you know this. We don’t… we aren’t like that.” I said looking her in the eyes. I didn’t really know what we weren’t like or what we were. It was hard to come up with a name for something so out of the ordinary.
“Why not? I think you too are lovely together. You’re both handsome and smart, you obviously have some kind of feelings towards each other or I would find you both wrapped up in each other’s arms every other day. I think you two would be happy.” The way she looked at me as she spoke was quite pathetic. It was pure sympathy.
I stood up and sighed. I didn’t really feel like explaining mine and Remus’ relationship for the millionth time to Lily. I was too hung up on figuring our Sirius’ motives.
“Look, Lils, it isn’t in the cards for Remus and I. If we were going to happen, we would have happened by now. I love him like a dear friend, as does he me. But, he is in love with someone else and I…”
“… don’t need a boyfriend, yes I know.” I had repeated this line since fourth year. It was horrible that I kept my secret love for James hidden from Lily. I just didn’t want to complicate things. It seemed ever so obvious, but for some reason she had never figured it out. She probably would never even have noticed James liked her if he hadn’t been pestering her daily for the last four years.
I began to get changed and Lily sat on my bed silently.
“Remus is in love with someone else? Who?” she asked. Sometimes, she was a nosey bugger.
“Why? Are you interested?” I winked, pulling up my kilt.
“No!” she shrieked. “He’s your
Remus. You’ll end up married to him one day. Just you wait and see.”
I rolled my eyes and pulled on my jumper. Lily came up behind me and began to brush my knotted hair, if she never had a little girl one day… I’m not sure what she would do with herself.
“Remus isn’t my anything. He’s my very good mate. That is all.” I said, sure of myself.
“And your cuddle buddy.” Lily chimed in, whilst yanking my hair a bit.
“Ow, you twat!”
Laughter ensued and for just a little blip in time, everything seemed back to normal. It was just Lily and I, not worrying about grades or the Marauders or gossip. We were just best friends laughing.
Somehow, I had gone an entire day without running into Sirius Black. This was an odd occurrence, seeing as we had quite a few classes in common. It was quite an oddity seeing as I actually wanted to see him. I wanted to know what he was up to, I wanted to yell at him, to warn him that I would shove his head up his arse if he ever laid his lips on me again.
On a brighter note, no one was really staring at me as if they were trying to see through my clothes. From what I had heard, Peter had asked Hestia on a Hogsmeade date. Hestia had actually accepted and they were to go during the weekend, which also served as Halloween. This was quite a shock to the whole of Hogwarts, as Tia was very good looking and despite being asked out by a load of blokes she had always declined. It made no sense for her to say yes to Peter, whom she had never even expressed interest in. Apparently, this was far more interesting to the student body than the news of my apparent nudist qualities.
During Potions, she had avoided talking about the Peter thing at all. Instead, she wished to question me about Remus being in my bed. All of the Remus talk was starting to annoy the crap out me and I’m sure it was written all over my face. Lily, being the dear she is, actually slopped some potion onto Tia’s text distracting her from her interrogation regarding the nature of mine and Remus’ relationship.
After dinner, from which Sirius was missing, James walked Lily and I back up to the Common Room. He was babbling away about Quidditch, which melted me like butter as I loved Quidditch and him, so we were talking about my two favorite topics.
“… and I think you could probably get a spot on the Hollyhead Harpies, Val.” James said, his glasses riding low on his face.
“That is so sexist, Potter.” Lily scoffed from beside me. She crossed her arms and looked rather annoyed, as per usual when she was in the presence of James.
James gave a weak smile and did the most unexpected thing.
“Evans, would you mind giving Val and me a quick minute? We’ll meet you in the Common Room.” He wore the most serious face I had ever seen a Marauder wear.
My heart floats up into my throat and I think, for once… James has chosen me.
Lily’s face just screamed shock. It was like she had been hit by a broomstick. James had never given up an opportunity to be in the company of Lily Evans, his self-proclaimed one true love. She said nothing, only giving a curt nod and hurrying ahead of us.
“Well, that worked better than expected.” James said, a grin growing widely across his handsome face.
“What did?” Just as the words escaped my lips, it hit me. It was one of James’ ploys to get Lily to like him. My heart dropped quickly from my throat into my stomach. I felt sick.
Could this week get any worse?
I thought, scowling.
“See I have this friend, who kissed this girl. You see, this friend is used to getting any lady he pleases… but when he kissed this particular girl- well, she slapped him. Now, this fucked with my friend’s brain. He is now sick to his stomach with yearning. Hasn’t left his room all day.” James said and, if it was possible, my heart sunk lower than my stomach. “This gave me an idea. Well, what if I applied the same technique to my situation. All Lily is used to is me begging her to love me, well… what if I stopped? It is brilliant!”
Yup, just got worse.
I gulped and said absolutely nothing. Sometimes… sometimes James was a prick without even realizing it.
“And I have only one person to thank for it!” At this, James touched my nose in praise. I wanted to vomit. I wanted to slap James harder than I had slapped Sirius. I wanted him to love me and stop loving her. I wanted to stop loving him… because it hurt.
We reached the Common Room and I had managed to make small talk with him while still wanting to jump off the Astronomy Tower. I wasn’t sure which was more shocking, that James’ plan was actually slightly brilliant and might work or that he said Sirius was sick with yearning.
Speak of the devil, he was sitting in an arm chair staring into the fire with a thoughtful expression that made me want to run up to the dorm and hide for the rest of the year. I was just about to do so when James-loud-mouth-Potter piped up.
“Oh, there he is! Our seriously confused Sirius!”
Sirius’ eye broke away from the fire and looked up at me. The only word I could use to describe the stare he gave me was lust.
This was so long for a filler! Ha ha! Forgive me! Thoughts?
Oh fuckity fuck fuck.