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Chapter 14 : Content with Loneliness
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November rain drenched the castle grounds as students ran across to the greenhouse with books over their heads, as if it would prevent their hair from becoming doused. I dragged my feet, holding my books close to me in a comforting embrace. I was disconnected from reality, from my surroundings, everything was nothing more but a blur.
Thunder grumbling as a streak of lightning split the grey sky. I bit my lip as I stepped into History of Magic but halted. I saw Remus, dipping his quill into an ink pot and he carefully adjusted the parchment, and my lips lifted into a small curve. He was just Remus.
I knew what he was and an ideological war waged in my head for the past several hours. The story of werewolves used to be told to magical children in fear, werewolves were condemned to be outcasts. But I used to knew this kid in my third grade class. I desperately wanted to fit in, to be admired or at least liked by the class, who in my young mind, represented society.
But before I was cast aside, shoved into the darkest corner of the room because I couldn't be a carbon copy of the other girls, I used to be terribly cruel to this poor classmate. The others didn't like him, thought he was a mistake that needed to be erase because he wasn't able to run like the other boys. He was convicted to a wheelchair for his entire life because he suffered from an accident that left him paralysed. They believed he was the error but it was them who were at fault.
And that boy reminded me of Remus.
I smiled and slid into my seat, saying, "Hello" with an unusually cheerful tone. Remus turned to me and gave me a sincere smile, saying, "Hey, Alice, did I miss much?"
I shook my head, "Just a few questions, but I'll give you the answers."
"Please, I insist or I will never speak another word to you again," I said, pushing a piece of parchment of the assignment towards him.
"I don't know what to say."
"Well, if I perhaps need some help in Charms, just promise me you will be there," I said with a sudden new-found confidence.
"I promise, thank you."
I smiled and turned my attention towards Professor Binns, with a certain peace overcoming my mind as the thunder grumbled. I glanced at Remus with a small grin but quickly turned away when he looked at me. We sat there, both with a small smile lighting our faces, as Remus scribbled away on the parchment. For the first time in what seems like a hundred years, I was finally content.
I folded my arms across the desk and rested my head, watching Remus with dark circles drooped below his warm, brown eyes and scars that became more profound. I opened my mouth, wanting to say something but discovered an inability to find the right words. It is usually the most important things that can't be said. Remus was now searching for a quill in his bag as I glanced at his bandage wrapped hand that was resting on the table. Without hesitation, my hand slid over his wounded one and delicately held it. Then I realised what I just did and retrieved my hand.
I pretended that nothing had happened and hurried to lift my quill, jotting several random notes on the parchment. The silence had become suffocating so I decided to gather all of my courage to break it.
"Oh, I was meaning to ask, are you feeling all right?" I asked, gently, knowing that it must be irritating to constantly have people ask you how you are or what happened.
"I'm all right, I'm feeling better."
"That's good," I said and turned my eyes back towards the front of the room.
I smiled to myself.
"Oh, hi, Remus, I didn't see you there."
I immediately looked up to see where the sentence came from. My eyes rested on the sight of Lily a few tables away. I lowered my head down. I watched as Remus was talking to her about something, definitely not about the homework.
"No, I understand. Are you going to do something about it?"
What could they possibly be talking about? Do you think it was about him being a werewolf? No, but Lily wouldn't know, why would she know? What could it possibly be? This is going to kill me.
Because, like they say, curiosity killed the cat.
"So, you're not going to tell her?" Lily said a bit loudly and blushed as Remus told her "shh!" It was something that was only between the two of them so it couldn't be homework or his secret. I thought I was going to bang my head on the desk if I didn't figure it out. I was place into Ravenclaw for a reason, right?
But I couldn't hear another word that came out of their conversation.
Quidditch practices were becoming more frequent and the first game of the year was a promising Gryffindor versus Slytherin match. But the real question is, since when was I ever so involved in the game that I would watch some part of the practice.
"Potter, I am going to hex you into oblivion!" Lily screamed as she threateningly hurried towards him, clutching something in her hand, her hair appeared to have some sort of substance in it.
Practice had ended a good fifteen minutes ago as Lily came rushing towards the accused, but he began to turn the other way, towards the lake. I was sitting by the Black Lake with its mirror-like surface that reflected the sky above but was disrupted from my reading when I heard Lily's rant of profanities.
"I don't know why you are so worked up, Lily."
"Did you lose half of your brain or are you just incredibly daft?"
"I am just asking, no need to insult my wits."
"Wits, you wish, Potter," as Lily flourished her wand at James, threatening to curse him.
"I heard that flobberworm goo was quite good to increase volume in your hair," James said in a slightly high pitched voice.
"Potter, I have had it up to here with your antics."
"Up to where?" James started to joke and I shook my head.
But before Lily could utter another insult, she had slipped due to the mud surrounding the lake and fallen into the Black Lake, causing ripples to crinkle the reflection. "James, what did you do?" I said accusingly, jumping to my feet.
"It's her fault for not watching her step," James said defensively, gesturing towards the water. At that moment, a burst of drenched red hair resurfaced with a screaming Lily Evans.
"POTTER!" Lily yelled as she climbed out of the water, now shivering in the crisp November air. She wrapped her arms around her and her teeth chattered but she still managed to curse James.
"Its not my fault you are so clumsy, Evans," James said, shrugging it off.
"I am going to kill you, I swear I will," Lily threatened.
"Lily, maybe you should go inside," I suggested noticing that she was becoming paler than usual. James, concerned, pulled off his cloak and hung it around Lily's slender shoulders.
"I don't want your filthy cloak," Lily said in a low voice, shrugging it off and storming towards the castle. James sighed, picking up his cloak and sitting down by the tree, pulling his knees up to him and rested his head.
I gave him a small smile, not sure what was the right thing to say. James was usually constantly confident and proud but he looked so vulnerable now. I wrung my hands, biting my lip and decided to follow my instincts.
The wind whispered to the trees as I tucked a strand of loose blonde hair behind my ear and sat down next to James, pulling my knees up. "Lily is just a bit upset, you know she has a bit of a temper," I said, after several moments of silence of battling inside my head to find the right words to say. I was not used to this.
"I try so hard, I don't understand why she doesn't like me - everyone else does... right?" He added the last bit and I realised that even James Potter was sometimes insecure.
I was bloody awful at this.
"I think you need to show Lily more of your sensitive side. Your...um... more confident side comes off as arrogant and so she thinks you are a... you know, prat," I said, trying to explain it to him as delicately as I could.
"I'm not a prat," James said, offended. I immediately said, "Oh, I know! But for Lily she doesn't know that other side of you. The facade you put up for the school may work for the other girls but Lily needs to see the real you."
"I don't understand," James said, looking at me with burning hazel eyes.
"Well Lily just needs to get to know you. So maybe try to bully people less and be kinder to her, instead of publicly embarrassing her every month."
"I don't publicly embarrass her!"
"Honestly James, writing 'Evans, let's have a go,' on a banner that circulates the Quidditch pitch may work for others but for any girl who is serious, like Lily, it just looks like you want a fling to say that you went out with Lily Evans and then you forget about her after a week," I said, rambling, not realising just how much I had to say about the topic.
"So I need to be more discreet?" James asked.
"Well... yes," I said.
"So instead of a banner, I should write it on her pancakes in the morning?" James asked with a serious face.
I guess it takes a while to learn.
As you have all probably noticed, my chapters have changed a bit. four chapters have changed (have been combined) which you might tell because the chapter images haven't changed yet.
Well, as we say, everything will be done in due time.
I am very sorry for my late chapter submission it's just that between testing and projects, I haven't found any inspiration in between all of that.
But here it is.
Thank you for reading and reviewing! =)
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