Chapter 1 : contentment
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James and I are sharing a sofa in the common room. Im lying back, my head is up on the arm rest and my knees are up allowing James to take the other end. He' hunched over, concentrating on the chess board infront of him. He was playing a game with Peter who was sitting across from James, his pudgy face screwed up in thought as he pondered his next move.
Remus was in an armchair infront of me, busy working away on some essay that probably wasnt due for another fortnight.
I close my eyes and enjoy the silence. I could hear the rain beat heavily on the windows, the fire crackling beside me, the ticking of three out of sync watches. The impatient sighs from Peter and confident chuckles of James as they continued their game, the light continuous scratching of Remus' quill on parcement and the happy chatter of people in the background.
I made a sound of contentment in the back of my throat. Silence was golden.
It was something I was not used to, not like this anyway. I was used to those horrible silences, like the ones in the middle of exams, or if your stuck somewhere like a waiting room, or the horrible, so quiet it could burst you eardrums silence that I put up with all my life at "home" for 16 years.
It was always so quiet at mine, for people who prided themselves on family, I was never made feel like part of mine. My mother and father joined in a loveless marriage and never spoke to each other. Regalous and I grew up without a childhood, there were no memories of laughter in the house from when we were boys, no recollection of us playing, fighting like little boys, nothing. And having nothing in commom we never spoke either.
I shudder delicately, thinking back on my old life. The sound of someone clearing their throat made me open my eyes. Peter was frowning, snappiing his fingers infront of James who had gone very strange. Eyes hooded over, mouth hung open, drooling slightly, I recognise the symptoms and follow his gaze, and sure enough he was staring at a small red haired figure who was carefully putting up a square bit of parcement on the noticeboard.
I poke my foot into James' hip and after blinking for a few seconds he turns to look at me. I nod my hed to the chessboard infront of him. He ignores me and gets to his feet, no doubt to go over and speak to Lily.
I sit up quickly and yank him back down by his robes. He frowns at me angrily but I shake my head, telling him with my eyes that I think going over to her is a bad idea. He finally gives in with a sigh and I let go of him, trusting he wont go running off. He had angered her earlier, and previous experience told me he shouldnt go near her for a while.
I catch Remus' eye and he smirks, I nod my head towards James and roll my eyes theatricly, Remus chuckles lightly and gets back to his essay, a look on his face that clearly says, "Just think of how much work he's going to be on the wedding day, best man!"
The mere thought makes me freeze in horror and James looks at me inquireingly but I shake my head to tell him its nothing. Peter suddenly lets out a scream of delight as he moves his knight to take James' bishop. James smiles with vindictive pleasure as he took Peters knight and his remaining pawn with one move of his rook.
Peters face fell and I laugh at the look of it, Remus raises an eyebrow in appreciation at the splendid move.
Several miniutes go by and the silence between us begins to change. What had once been comfortable now became cold, tension of a kind creeping in like smoke under a door of a cosy room.
It made my neck prickle and I could feel James shift uncomfortabley beside me at the change, because we both knew why everything had become suddenly uncomfortable.
To anyone who was watching us they would assume it was to do with the intense chess game going on. However we had bigger things to worry about than Peters lack of chess skills.
I looked toward the window, the sky was beginning to turn grey as twilight began. The rain continued, the scene would look innocent any other night, however toonight, it was like looking at an enemy, readying himself for a fight. And I frowned in response.
I look away and my eyes find Remus, he was still writing away steadily his face expressionless though his posture was too tense for his relaxed exterior he was trying to portray.
I saw James check his watch from the corner of his eye. He got to his feet and stretched, yawning loudly as he did so. He walked towards the spiral staircase that led to our dorm.
On his way past he put his hand on Remus' shoulder and squeezed lightly, Remus looked up and tried to smile, though it looked more like a grimmance.
James continued on toward the stair and to the dorm and Remus turned back to his essay.
Peter was frowning, looking very confussed. I cleared my throat and nodded at Remus and then to the window. It took him a minute to catch on and he gulped.
Remus finished his essay, rolling his parcement up carefully and sealing it, he put it in the inside of his robes and sighed. James returns then, a suspicous lump coming from under his jumper.
Remus, Peter and I get to our feet, and follow James quietly out of the common room.
When we are away from curious eyes James retrieves the invisibility cloak from under his jumper and throws it over Peter and I, being head boy and Remus being prefect they didnt need it as they were allowed to wander the grounds at this time.When we were under the cloak we follow James and Remus down the corridors and out of the castle.
We reach the whomping willow without a word to each other. The rain begins the plummet down heavily again. Almost like it was warning us of what was to come. I was grateful for the cloak as I watch Remus push his wet hair from his face.
I was suddenly aware that I had alot more space under the cloak and looking down I see a rat with Peter like features run towards the tree. Remus looks towards the sky and he sighs shakily.
I take off the cloak and stand beside him and at the same time as James I place my hand on Remus' shoulder. He relaxed under our touch and he didnt have to say why, he knew we were there for him.
James takes his hand of Remus' shoulder and gestured with his hand for Remus to move on. Remus sighs and moves forward. He reaches the tree before turning to look back at us. His pale face was pale and tired looking, he looked ten years older than us. Looking at each of us he opens his mouth to speak. I knew what he was going to say, I could read it in his eyes and his face.
Something soppy along the lines of, "Thank you for doing this, you dont know how much this means to me."
Sighing heavily I roll my eyes and push Remus in the direction of the tree, while shaking my head at Remus' stupidity. Remus closed his mouth and his eyes twinkled. He looked at James and back at me, he gave each of us a small smile instead of saying anything.
Some things just didnt need to be said...