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Chapter 17 : Clueless
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What do I care if a banshee is yelling at me to get out of bed? I am depressed and will probably never have a boyfriend. I will live on my own with twenty cats and shout mean things at passing children. Though I am slightly impressed on how the banshee got into my dorm room.
“That’s it!” the banshee said in a frustrated voice. I heard its retreating footsteps and, sighing in relief, let the grip on my pillow loosen. Now I can go back to my wallowing in self-pity in peace.
“ARRRRGH!” I screamed as a jet of cold water hit me directly in the face, my pillow having just been ripped from grip. I shot straight up in my bed, spluttering and looking around in bewilderment.
A slightly crazed looking Lily was standing next to my bed with a self-satisfied smirk on her face, her wand twirling innocently in her hand. Huh, I guess she was the banshee. Don’t tell her I thought that.
“Lily!” I shouted in shock. Well I tried to shout but there was still water in my mouth and it made shouting a little difficult. It sort of came out as “Wibwy!” but she got my point none the less.
“I warned you, I said it was the last time I was going to be nice. Plus I have done you a favour, now you don’t have to shower!” She said cheerfully. I had to stop myself from cursing her.
I glared at her as I slowly got out of my soaking sheets and dripped off towards the bathroom.
“I’m going down to breakfast. I have Ancient Runes first so I will see you in Potions!” Lily called to me through the bathroom door. I have a free lesson this morning! Why did she wake me up!? Maybe she thought I wouldn’t get up at all…
She would have been right.
After hearing Lily leave I heaved a sigh. She doesn’t know what happened last night. She probably just thinks this is another morning where I want to have a sleep in. Good. The less people who know what an idiot I am the better.
Oh sweet Merlin and his goats. I look awful. No wonder Remus didn’t want to kiss me! Well to be a little fair, I hadn’t just woken up and been soaked to the skin last night. But still. Looking at myself now I don’t blame him.
What am I going to do? I can’t even look at him without wanting to run and hide forever. I frowned at myself in the mirror. I can’t do that though, no matter how much I want to hide forever under a lovely rock with my bug friends. James and Sirius are bound to notice something is up and I don’t want to lose them as friends. There is only one thing I can do. Or at least try and do.
Pretend like it never happened.
Okay and maybe try and make myself as pretty as possible so Remus knows what he is missing. I’d better get to work if I want that to happen.
* * *
Alright brain we can do this! I think.
Oh God we can’t do this! Run awaaaaay!
I must look like the biggest idiot in the world standing outside the potions room dithering around like a fool. I had arrived at the dungeons before anyone else and was trying to decide if I should go in now and wait or get the first awkward encounter with Remus over and done with outside. I would like to have that encounter say, um, never! But I don’t think that is going to work.
I had spent most of my free lesson in front of the mirror trying to make myself somewhat attractive. I don’t know if I succeeded or not. For all I know I may have accidentally turned myself into a troll. Sadly, that would not surprise me.
As I stood there awkwardly near the door the first students of the class started arriving. They looked at me weirdly but I ignored them. Time to make up my mind… Okay I’ve got it.
Just as I decided I would wait for the Marauders to turn up so I could get the awkwardness out of the way, I heard Sirius’ bark like laugh coming from the stairs leading down to the dungeons.
I’m not ready!
I quickly picked up my bag and practically leaped into the potions room, shutting the door behind me for good measure. I heard someone say, “OI!” as I slammed the door shut in their face but whatever. I hurried off towards the desk that Aiden and I shared and sat down. I pretended to be looking through my bag so I could avoid looking at the door.
The angry Slytherin boy who I had slammed the door on came into the room looking murderous but he didn’t seem to know it was me. He went off to his desk grumbling darkly under his breath.
I was still pretending to look through my bag when someone sat down next to me. For a wild second I thought it was Remus and I nearly had a heart attack.
But it turned out to be, “Aiden!” I said in surprise. I didn’t think he was going to sit with me today because yesterday he was still mad at me. But I’m not complaining! It made me happy that he was going to at least sit with me.
“Hey Shaylee,” he said softly, looking at me with those smoldering eyes of his. My anxiety of seeing Remus seemed to ebb slightly just by Aiden talking to me again.
“Hi Aiden,” I said shyly. “So… are you still mad at me?” I asked, talking to my hands.
I heard him sigh before he said, “No, I’m not mad at you anymore. I’m sorry for ignoring you over nothing really. You’re not mad at me are you?”
I looked up at him and saw that he genuinely looked worried. “No! Of course I’m not,” I said and smiled brightly to reassure him. He grinned back at me and what little tension there was between us died.
I was just about to say something when the Marauders walked through the door. James and Sirius were talking animatedly to each other while Peter was standing on his tip toes looking for someone, Masie most likely.
Remus however wasn’t talking or smiling like he normally would. He looked sicker than he did yesterday. He definitely must be getting the flu. My heart panged as I took in the dark circles under his eyes and how pale he looked. It took all I had not to get up and go give him a comforting hug.
It was then though that I realised that I was staring at him. He was just turning his head in my direction when I snapped out of it and quickly began rummaging through my bag again, refusing to look anywhere but at my hands.
“They have sat down, you can stop pretending to look through your bag,” Aiden said quietly to me, his hands grabbing one of mine to stop it moving around in my bag that was now a mess.
Blushing, I looked up at Aiden to find him looking at me, a slight questioning look on his face. But before he could ask me any questions, Slughorn walked into the classroom and started the lesson. It wasn’t until we had both started our shrinking potions that Aiden had the chance to ask,
“So what’s up with you and the Marauders?”
“Nothing!” I said a little too quickly and Aiden looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
“Babe, you are a terrible liar,” he said and grinned at me.
“I am not!” I said in a bit of a huff. I mean I’m not THAT bad am I?
“You are but that’s why I like you,” he said in a joking voice but I saw the tint of a blush on his cheeks.
My stomach gave a little flip-flop at his words. What? What?! Does he mean he likes me as a friend? Or does he really like me? I don’t know! Why are you asking me?!
I just smiled a little awkwardly and said, “Okay so I am a bad liar. We can’t all be from Slytherin where they program you to lie with ease!” I poked my tongue out at him and he laughed.
“I’ll let that one slide. Are you going to tell me what’s up?” Aiden asked and gave me his best pleading look.
“I don’t really want to talk about it…” I said quietly, looking at my hands again. My stomach started to have that familiar feeling of embarrassment and I wanted to be talking about anything but this.
One of Aiden’s hands slowly slid into my mine. I stared at our hands for a moment before I slowly turned to look at him. He was looking calmly ahead, as if trying to not make a big deal out it, at Slughorn who was at the board explaining something. His thumb grazed over my hand comfortingly and I instantly felt better.
I gave his hand a little squeeze of thanks and a happy smile slowly slid onto his face.
He released my hand once we both had to get back to work and neither of us mentioned it. Now that I don’t have the distraction of his hand in mine I don’t know what to think!
Was he just comforting me? Did he just want to see if I had unnaturally sweaty hands? God I hope not. Or did he do it because he actually likes me?
I don’t know! What did my reaction imply? I was saying thank you for being nice but what if he took it another way?
Oh Merlin, please help!
“Alright class, excellent work! Everyone please bring a labeled sample of your potion up to my desk and you may leave,” Slughorn announced loudly to the class an hour later. I quickly scoped some of my potion into one of my vials and walked with Aiden to drop it off at Slughorn’s desk.
I had just placed it on the desk and turned to head out of the door when I bumped into someone.
“Shaylee!” Remus said in surprise. He was clutching his vial of potion in his hand and I couldn’t help thinking that it looked better than mine.
Wait, what am I thinking?! Escape! But how?!
Remus was opening his mouth to say something when he abruptly shut it again. The cause for that was Aiden’s arm slowly encircling my waist. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. Somehow Aiden putting his arm around me felt very different from when Sirius did it. Not knowing what to do, I did nothing. Well except a good impression of a stunned fish.
Remus’ face suddenly became very hard and his eyes flicked from Aiden’s arm to my face and back again. Oh God! I have to do something!
“Oh look at the time!” I said in a fake shocked voice and looked at my wrist, never mind that I’m not wearing a watch. “I have to go… get… my Transfiguration homework!” I gave a cheery wave to Remus, who looked confused. I began to quickly walk towards the door. It took me a moment to realise that Aiden was following me out of the room.
Oh nooo. He is going to ask me what is going on again. As if he didn’t notice that something was obviously different between Remus and I. Just as I was getting ready to sprint away from Aiden, he surprised me again by gently grabbing my arm and pulling me out of the flow of students. He led me far enough away so no one could over hear us but he still stood looking at the Potions room door. The last students out were the Marauders.
Remus was talking in a low voice to James whose brow was frowned. Sirius began looking past students as if searching for someone. His eyes found mine and we stared at each other for a moment. James, Remus and Peter followed his gaze and saw me. Remus looked away as quickly as possible but James started forward, towards Aiden and I.
Aiden shifted next to me and I knew he was anticipating a confrontation. That is why he had waited before asking me any questions. I had to resist the urge to roll my eyes.
By now James had reached us. He smiled kindly at me. Oh God! He knows! Remus has told him what happened and now he feels sorry for me! I am definitely about to die of embarrassment.
“Hey Shaylee, I haven’t seen you all day. Everything alright?” he asked, completely ignoring Aiden.
“Hi James, yes everything is fine!” I said in an overly happy voice. “Aiden just wanted to talk to me for a moment.”
“Privately, if you don’t mind,” Aiden said in a calm voice but his eyes were narrowed. James frowned at him and started to say something back when Sirius called,
“Oi James we have to get to Transfiguration. Wouldn’t want Minnie getting upset now would we?” he smirked at James who rolled his eyes but relaxed and started back towards his friends.
“You’d better hurry too Shaylee. McGonagall will kill you if you’re late,” he said in a brotherly sort of voice over his shoulder.
“Don’t forget to get your homework…” Remus sort of mumbled. The four boys turned to walk up the stairs leading to the entrance hall and Aiden breathed a sigh of relief. I continued to watch them leave and at the last moment Sirius turned back and gave me a meaningful look.
I know what that look means. I owe him an explanation. He saved me from dealing with James and Aiden at the same time and he either knows what happened last night or he has noticed something is up with me today. Great. Just excellent.
I turned to Aiden and he was smiling down at me. I smiled weakly back at him. His smile faded and he looked worried.
“Shaylee, I know you don’t want to talk about what ever happened, I get that. Just know that I’m here for you okay?” he said softly, looking at me intently.
My stomach burst into butterflies and I looked shyly away from his intense look. This is too much. I don’t know how to deal with these types of things! The only boy I ever talked to before this was Barry the Giant Squid and I don’t even know if Barry is a boy or girl!
This is all backwards. Aiden likes me and I like Remus but Remus doesn’t like me and James loves Lily and Peter seems to like Maisie while Sirius likes everyone. Merlin, I’ve confused myself.
“Thanks Aiden. That’s really sweet,” I said just as softly.
“No problem. Just don’t go telling anyone in my house,” he joked and tried, and failed to laugh in response. His mouth turned down in a frown. “Babe, you had better give me a smile or I am going to have to slip you a cheering up potion,” Aiden said and slung his arm casually around my shoulders. I couldn’t help but smile this time as we made our way up out of the dungeons.
* * *
Oh McGonagall is going to be so angry. She is going to transfigure me into a frog to teach me a lesson, I just know it. It’s not my fault I forgot my Transfiguration homework in Gryffindor tower and had to sprint up there to get it! Okay so maybe it is. But it’s a bloody miracle I even did the stupid essay.
I skidded to halt outside McGonagall’s classroom a good five minutes late, clutching my essay which wasn’t all that great anyway. Maybe if I just quickly walk away now I can pretend I was sick…
Just as I was about to hurry off to hide in a cupboard somewhere until the lesson was over, I heard loud footsteps and the unmistakable whistle of Slughorn coming this way. I groaned and turned right back around to face the door. I will have to just suck it up and go to class.
I slowly and quietly turned the door handle, in the ridiculous hope that no one would notice me slipping into the classroom late. As soon as I stepped into the room, twenty pairs of eyes turned to stare at me.
“Nice of you to join us Miss Sanchez,” said McGonagall in her stern voice. I gulped.
I had to resist the urge to bite back, ‘Well it is actually nice of me to join you all because just thirty seconds ago I was trying to decide which cupboard I would like to spend an hour in,’ but thank Merlin I did not say that because the Professors nostrils were flaring and that usually meant she was about to pounce.
“I’m sorry Professor; I forgot my homework and had to get it…” I mumbled, mostly to my shoes.
“I see,” said McGonagall, still in her stern voice. “Bring your homework up to me and find your seat. Five points from Gryffindor. I don’t want to see you late to my class again,” she finished, returning to the board and waving her wand.
Five points! That is so unfair! I have never even been late to this class in my entire life and the one time I am she takes five points! I have never lost points before! Where is the justice in the world?!
Thinking darkly to myself, I hurriedly dropped my essay off on McGonagall’s desk before looking around for a seat. I spotted one next to Sirius and my spirits lifted slightly. At least it wasn’t next to Germy Jamie. Or Remus.
I smiled at Sirius as I slid into the seat next to him and he smiled back before he frowned at me and made a small ‘tsk tsk’ sound.
“We told you not to be late!” he whispered to me while I took out my parchment and quill. I glared at him in response and he grinned. Like he is one to talk about being late! I’m pretty sure this is the first time he has ever made it to class on time!
“Why aren’t you sitting with James?” I asked under my breath.
“Old Minnie thought it wasn’t very productive for us to sit together anymore,” Sirius said rolling his eyes but smirking none the less. “He is sitting with Remus, though how that is supposed to be any better is beyond me.”
“Now I want you all to read the third chapter of your Transfiguration textbook, titled ‘Animagus’. Then proceed to practice your conjuring spells,” McGonagall said and sat back at her desk. She pulled a stack of parchment towards her and I knew it was everyone’s essays. Oh Merlin, don’t let her read mine! Please let it spontaneously catch fire! Or become invisible! For the love of Merlin, let a wild hippogriff fly through the window and eat it!
None of those ridiculous things happened. I wish they had. I had been so preoccupied by Remus last night that I hadn’t really finished it properly.
She is going to give me a T.
Sighing, I opened my book to the chapter on Animagus and began reading the first few paragraphs. I was just thinking how difficult it would be to become an Animagus when I noticed that Sirius was leaning back in his chair, relaxed and watching me reading.
“You do know you’re supposed to read the chapter right? Not creepily watch me read it,” I said in a whisper to him but he only smirked at me. Sighing in frustration at his stupid smirks I returned to the book.
I had finished the chapter in less than ten minutes. What can I say? All that time in the library taught me to read fast. I pulled out my wand to start practicing conjuring spells when I looked over to see Sirius leaning back in his chair still, his book unopened.
“Are you trying to get into trouble?” I asked a little irritably. Here I am feeling bad about losing five points by accident when Sirius is purposely not doing his work, bound to lose more points!
“I’ve read the chapter,” Sirius said in a matter of fact voice, smiling at me innocently.
“You have not! You haven’t even opened your book!” I whispered pointing at his unopened textbook.
“Trust me, I have,” he said and leaned forward so he was looking at me properly.
“Well then why don’t you practice your conjuring spell?” I asked in a harsh whisper. Why am I getting angry? Merlin, this is one mixed up day.
“I was waiting for you,” he said smoothly and smirked at me again. Ohhh if I could conjure an elephant to land on his big fat head I would.
“I hate you!” I grumbled under my breath at him which only caused him to scoff.
“No you don’t!” he said and pulled out his wand. “You can’t hate us Marauders,” he continued before he flicked his wand and a perfect bunch of flowers were conjured onto the desk in front of him. “Especially Remus,” he said in a voice so low that I barely heard him. But I did. My stomach felt like it had exploded and I wanted to die.
He grinned at me in satisfaction.
“I- wha- you-…” I stuttered, trying to string a sentence together. “What is that supposed to mean?!” I asked in a rush, a little louder than I expected. McGonagall looked up sharply from her parchment and fixed me with her steely glare.
“Miss Sanchez, this behavior is most unlike you! First you are late to my class, then you interrupt it and need I say that this essay of yours is nowhere near up to your usual standards! Please see me after class!” She said in an angry voice. “Back to work everyone!”
I sat there gaping at her, my mouth opening and closing, wanting to protest but knowing it was no good.
* * *
“So, what’s the verdict?” Sirius asked me as soon as I came storming out of the Transfiguration classroom. He had been leaning against the wall, waiting for me.
“Detention! I have detention! This is all your fault!” I said angrily to Sirius and shoved him away from me when he tried to put his arm around my shoulders.
He laughed and asked, “How is any of this my fault?” He was smiling at me and it made me want to kick him in the shin.
“It just is!” I snapped and began stomping off towards the great hall for lunch. Sirius chuckled and followed me.
“Oh calm down Shaylee, detention isn’t the end of the world! Hey that reminds me, I have detention tonight with McGonagall! See, it won’t be so bad because I will be there!” he said cheerfully and I just looked at him like he was from another planet.
Though I guess detention will be slightly better with Sirius... Never tell him I said that!
“Now I have some questions for you,” Sirius said as we walked down the crowded stairs, Sirius easily parting the crowd of students. I stuck close to him so that I didn’t get lost.
“What type of questions?” I asked hesitantly, though I knew exactly what questions he was planning. Maybe it would be a good thing to get lost in the crowd…
“Don’t even think about it!” Sirius said and slung his arm around my shoulders, cutting off my only form of escape. I sighed in defeat and took my anger out by poking my tongue out at a Slytherin girl who had bumped into me. That’ll show her.
“What is going on between you and Remus?” Sirius asked in a low voice, bending slightly so he could talk into my ear. I am bloody grateful he didn’t announce the question loud enough for the entire corridor to hear.
“I- I don’t know what you are talking about,” I said in an aloof voice, not daring to look at him.
“Playing dumb isn’t a good look for you sweetheart,” Sirius said, laughing and rolling his eyes. A Hufflepuff girl who was passing heard him call me sweetheart and gave me a particularly nasty glare.
Fantastic. This time tomorrow the whole school will think Sirius and I are dating. Or more likely everyone will think I have slipped him a love potion.
“Look, there is nothing going on with Remus and I alright? Now can we please drop this?” I asked irritably. We were nearing the great hall and I did NOT want anyone else over hearing this conversation.
Sirius ignored me and asked, “Well then what is with all the tension between you two? Just this weekend you were getting along great and now you will barely look at each other!” He stopped and pulled me off to the side, just outside the doors.
Oh God, there is no getting out of this. It felt different talking to Sirius about this than it had when Aiden had brought up the subject, I don’t know why though. At least I know now that Remus hasn’t told anyone about our almost kiss because it is unlikely that he would tell just one of his friends.
“Okay but if I tell you, you cannot say anything to anyone! I am trusting you here. You cannot laugh at me or react in anyway at all okay?” I asked him, giving a defeated sigh.
“I promise,” Sirius said in such a serious voice that I had to make sure I was still talking to the same person.
“I- well I sort of- I tried to kiss Remus last night and he turned away and then I wanted to die! There!” I said in such a rush I was worried that Sirius wouldn’t understand me. Well bugger him! I am not repeating it!
Sirius looked momentarily startled before his handsome face smoothed back to normal and he merely nodded. A nod? A NOD?! All I get from him is a nod?! Crap, I did ask him not to react. Nice thinking brain, NOT!
I thought once I told someone I would get some advice or something. I was just about to ask him what he thought when we were interrupted by Emma, Sirius’ crazy ‘girlfriend’.
“Hi Honey Bunch!” she said in her high pitched voice, tossing her hair. Her friend Emily popped up next to her, smiling and looking around for someone. “Where’s Remus?” Emma asked and winked at Emily.
I am going to curse them both. Twice, just for good measure.
“Hey,” Sirius said a little awkwardly. “Uh, I think he is at lunch.” I glared at him and he seemed to catch on because he quickly said, “Oh I remember now! He is in the, uh, Library!”
The two girls looked at each other before Emily smirked and walked off in the direction of the Library. Maybe three times, just in case.
I rolled my eyes and huffed off into the hall, leaving Sirius to deal with Emma.
* * *
I managed to avoid the Marauders for the rest of the day by sitting with Lily or Alice, though I did keep a close eye on Sirius. At the slightest hint of him telling Remus anything I was prepared to curse him into silence. Do not doubt me.
After a hurried dinner I said goodbye to the girls and got up to go to my detention. Sirius saw me leaving and followed me out of the hall. Now that I have told him, I don’t really know what to say to him. What if he makes fun of me or tells me that Remus would never like me in a hundred million years? I don’t think my fragile ego could take it.
“Would you slow down? Or are you that eager to get to your first detention?” Sirius asked jokingly as he caught up to me on the stairs.
“Oh shut up,” I said but slowed down. May as well get the teasing over with.
“For a girl in love, you are very grouchy,” Sirius said and grinned down at me. I glared at him.
“Oh yes, ha-ha I like someone who doesn’t like me back, how hilarious! You promised you wouldn’t tease me!” I growled and began stomping towards McGonagall’s office.
“Oh relax will you! I wasn’t teasing you! Okay, well sort of but I wasn’t trying to be mean!” Sirius panted as he caught up to me again.
“Just forget I told you anything okay?” I asked him desperately and before he could answer we had arrived at McGonagall’s door. I knocked and we both walked into the room.
“Ah good evening both of you. It comes as no surprise to me that you are here Mr Black. Tonight you will be writing out lines for me about why it is inappropriate to be fraternizing in broom cupboards,” McGonagall said sternly to Sirius who merely smirked.
“As for you Shaylee, I do not enjoy putting one of my best Transfiguration students in detention. I hope I don’t see you here again. Tonight I would like for you to re-do your essay conclusion because I know you can do much better,” She gave me a knowing look and I nodded.
For my first detention, it wasn’t that bad. Sirius wrote his lines quickly and all I really had to fix was the last few paragraphs of my essay. McGonagall let us go back to our common rooms before it was even eight.
“See, I told you detention wasn’t all that bad!” Sirius said cheerfully as we slowly walked side by side.
“Yeah but it wasn’t something I really wanted to experience!” I said but pushed him playfully so he knew that my bad mood was over. Sirius had said he wasn’t trying to be mean when he teased me and I believed him. But I still wanted to pretend like I had never told him anything. Hopefully he would play along.
We were halfway across the entrance hall when someone called out, “Shaylee!” Sirius and I turned around and saw Aiden walking towards us. He didn’t look that happy.
Sirius sighed exasperatedly and said, “I’ll meet you back in the common room.”
“Your boyfriend didn’t want to hang around? I thought for sure he would be the jealous type,” Aiden said nastily as he reached me. My greeting smile slipped off my face at his words. Boyfriend? Who, Sirius?
“What are you talking about?” I asked, genuinely confused. Aiden scoffed and rolled his eyes.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about, sweetheart,” Aiden said, his intense gaze on my face. I raised my eyebrow at his use of the word sweetheart before it hit me.
Sweetheart. That bloody Hufflepuff girl! Merlin she works fast.
I sighed in slight relief that Aiden wasn’t angry about anything more serious and smiled at him. Smiling however did not seem like the right thing to do because Aiden’s face darkened and he truly looked like he belonged in Slytherin. Taking a slight step back, I gently put my hand on his arm. He didn’t curse it off or bite it.
Always a good sign.
“Aiden, I know what you are think-” I tried to say but he cut me off.
“I asked you! I asked you if you were dating Black and you said no! I believed you because I- because I trust you and that isn’t something I do very often…” His voice had started out strong and angry but had finished soft and hurt.
My heart melted as I looked at his fallen expression and I went to hug him but he pushed me away.
“No, don’t touch me. Don’t feel sorry for me!” He spat, the anger back in his eyes. My anger flared up then at being so rudely pushed away.
“Fine! I won’t! But next time you might like to get your facts straight! I am not dating anyone! And why do you care anyway?!” I shouted at him, my eyes glaring into his, my anger mounting at his unreasonable reaction to a bit of gossip.
“Why do I care?!” He shouted right back, storming towards me and stopping so he was an inch from my face. “Because…” his voice dropped to a whisper and I could feel his breath on my lips. “Because I like you,” he whispered right before his lips came crashing into mine.
A/N: So, um, don't kill me?
Thank you everyone for reading and reviewing! It truly makes my day and gives me that dopey sort of smile. You know the one. :D Leave me a review telling me what you thought of the ending! I'm keen to find out how many Aiden supporters/haters are out there! :P
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