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Chapter 22 : Chapter 22: The End
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Truth be told, I never found them to be very positive.
When I was little, I always found werewolves very scary. However, back then I thought they weren't real.
Now I know.
I've always been scared of werewolves. Always. There's no real rational explanation of it, truthfully. Lily doesn't find them creepy at all. Once I came to Hogwarts and learned that they do indeed exist, I've had a terrible fear of them.
And that was the main thing on my mind the whole party.
I took a sip of my punch, and scanned the room.
A surprisingly large amount of people were here. But that was probably because my friends planned it. I'm not very popular, you know. As awesome as I am.
I smiled slightly at that thought.
A passing girl gave me an odd look and hurried off.
What did I do?
"You having fun?" Ashley asked cheerfully, sliding next to me.
She peeked at me from the corner of her eye and sighed.
"Dammit, Elizabeth, it's your birthday! You're supposed to have fun!"
I took a sip of my drink.
Ashley narrowed her eyes at me.
"That's it. You and Remus are settling this right now. I refuse to let you mope around all day on your birthday. It's just pathetic, Liz." Ashley stalked off.
Eyes wide, I slumped back against the wall.
I tapped my foot nervously. Was there any good places I could hide?
Heck, did I want to hide?
Didn't I want to solve this?
Remus is a werewolf.
My breath came out in short gasps. Oh, Merlin.
Don't panic, Elizabeth. I told myself, trying to take deep breaths.
In, out. In, out. I mean, that's how it works, right? Just focus on breathing?
Who cares if Remus is a werewolf?
My breathing sped up. Well, clearly, I do.
Okay, I can get over this. I mean, it's just a silly little fear, right?
"Eeep!" I squeaked loudly. Involuntarily, mind you. Blood rushed to my cheeks as I turned to face Remus. I felt like a tomato. Trying to cool down my face, I let out a weak smile.
Remus' eyes sparkled in amusement.
Now, I know this might sound crazy. Stupid and unrealistic, even. But that sparkle . . . I'm rendered defenseless by it. There's just something about it.
For some reason, when Remus' eyes sparkled, I realized something.
Remus was still Remus.
His being a werewolf didn't change any of that. I still felt tingles when he touched me, didn't I? How does one night every month change everything?
It's funny how everything can change in an instant.
And all of a sudden, I couldn't keep the smile off my face.
"I don't know, Elizabeth. Don't you think you're getting over this fight awfully quick?" Ashley gave me a skeptical look.
I glanced up at her and sighed.
"On one hand, yeah I do. I'm worried that Remus just charmed me out of it. On the other hand, I feel like it was irrational." I paused for a second. "I think I'm falling in love with him, Ash."
Ashley's eyes widened comically.
"You're kidding me."
Ashley shook her head.
"No, Liz. This is too soon. Think about it."
"I don't think it's too soon."
"Of course you don't."
I laid down on my back.
"Good night, Ashley."
"Good night, Elizabeth."
"I have something to tell you guys," Leslie announced, standing over the table.
"What, Les?" I asked curiously.
"Please don't be mad!" she blurted out.
I raised my eyebrows. Now I was getting worried.
"Just tell us."
Leslie blushed a little, and her eyes flickered a bit to the other end of the Ravenclaw table.
"I'm dating Xenophilius Lovegood."
I dropped my fork onto my plate, shocked. Similar clatters came from Ashley and Katie's plates.
"You're kidding me."
"How long?" I spluttered out.
Leslie's face reddened even more.
"Promise not to be mad!"
"How long, Leslie?"
"Since the end of sixth year."
My mouth dropped open.
I started coughing.
"Oh, my Merlin!"
"You kept it from us for that long?" Ashley hissed. Her lips were pinched.
"You promised not to be mad!" Leslie squeaked.
"We did no such thing!"
"Guys, please!" Leslie begged. "I know I should have told you, it's just . . ." She sighed. "I really like him, and I wanted to make sure it would last."
Eyeing her despaired face, I sighed in resignation.
Katie raised an eyebrow at me.
"I guess I'm okay with it as well," Ashley mumbled.
Katie's mouth twisted.
Leslie's frown turned upside down in a blink of an eye.
"Thank you so much!" she squealed, sitting down across from me.
I gave her a smile.
I just felt bad for Ashley.
"I wish she would just get over him," I whispered, leaning against Remus.
He glanced at me from his book.
"Elizabeth, you know that she couldn't get over him in a blink of an eye."
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean I can't wish she could."
We were silent for a moment, just sitting there. Remus and I.
"I just wish there was something I could do!" I blurted out.
Remus rolled his eyes good naturedly.
"But there isn't, Elizabeth. So just hope for something good to happen."
"Talk to him."
"Please talk to him?"
Darn it. I leaned back in my seat with a huff.
"Will it get you to leave me alone?"
"It's still a no."
I sat quietly for a moment while Ashley worked on her homework.
"You need closure, Ash."
Her quill stilled.
"I'm not telling you to do this for myself. I'm trying to help you do what's best for yourself. I mean, that's what best friends are for, right?"
I gave her a weak smile.
"Come on," I whispered in her ear. "You'll be okay."
She shook her head.
"No, I can't."
Ashley's eyes were filled with tears.
"I just can't, Liz."
"Yes, you can, Ashley." I pushed her forward slightly. "If it helps, he breaks your heart, and I'll break his face. And other important body parts."
She stifled a giggle.
Ashley lurched forward from my forceful push in the direction of Sirius.
"I have to talk to you," she announced, standing in front of him.
Then, of course, they had to start speaking in hushed tones. In other words, giving eavesdroppers like me no chance to overhear anything.
Frowning and tapping my feet, I waited for their conversation to finish.
Suddenly, Ashley turned sharply, and started walking away quickly. In the light, I thought I saw a tear glimmer on her cheek.
Oh no he didn't.
He made Ashley cry. Again.
What the hell?
Furious, I stalked over to Sirius, my hand balled up in a fist.
I pulled my stinging hand back to my side, satisfied. I happily noted the bright red hand print on his cheek. That was sure to leave a mark.
"That was for what you just said to Ashley."
"And that was for cheating on her."
Walking off, my head held high, I imprinted the image of Sirius Black clutching his broken nose into my brain.
If you had told me two years ago how many detentions I would have in the coming years, I would have laughed in your face. Showed me all the slips, and I would burst into hysterical tears.
Of course now, I'm used to it. So I was hardly fazed when Flitwick handed me a detention slip.
"What did you do now?" Katie asked suspiciously.
I shrugged noncommittally.
"Tell me, Elizabeth."
"I punched Black," I muttered.
"What did you say?"
"I punched Sirius Black," I said louder.
Katie stared at me for a second.
"Did you break his nose?"
"Good girl," she said with a slight smile.
I started laughing loudly.
Apparently, I should have been worried about detention. Why, you may ask? Because I have it with Sirius. Great. Happy, happy, joy, joy.
That was sarcasm, if you couldn't tell.
I continued scrubbing the cauldron.
"Lizzie, speak to me."
"Oh, come on, Lizzie!"
I scrubbed harder at the little green bit.
I'm almost feeling bad. He sounds so sad.
I could feel my resolve breaking down . . . Darn it.
Sirius grinned brightly and scooted next to me.
"We need to talk."
"About what, Sirius?"
"I'm sorry, Elizabeth. I didn't want to hurt her."
I paused for a second, my rag hanging over the green goo.
"What do you want to talk about?"
"You're forgiving him? Just like that?"
"You don't understand, Ashley."
"You're right. I don't understand."
"He wants to talk to you, Ash."
She rolled her eyes.
"I already tried to talk to him, Elizabeth."
"He wants to talk to you."
"Maybe I don't want to talk to him again."
"He'll hurt me again."
I can honestly say I have wanted to kill someone before. But never have I wanted to hurt someone so much as when they hurt my best friends. But sometimes, my friends have to do it for themselves.
"It's for your own good, Ashley."
I leaned against the tree, watching the sun set against the clouds, turning them all a beautiful shade of pink.
"It's gorgeous," Remus said, sitting down next to me.
"That it is."
We sat there in silence, just watching the sun set all around us.
"What happened between Ashley and Sirius?" I whispered, taking hold of his hand.
"Does that really matter right now?"
"I guess not."
I watched as the stars appeared in the sky. The clouds turned a dark blue along with the sky, the only light coming from the moon and stars.
I rested my head on Remus' shoulder.
Maybe everything was okay.
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