Chapter 3 : Touch
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Every interaction starts a chain reaction
We're both affected when we least expected it
And when we touched then it all connected
~Touch, Natasha Bedingfield
“Remus Lupin?” A small second year girl asked timidly, looking up at me. I got up from the arm of the couch and he handed me a small note.
“Ooh, the first love note of the year.” James joked in a singsong voice. The girl turned a bright shade of red and ran out of the Portrait hole. I rolled my eyes at James and flipped him off, earning a pillow at my head in return.
I opened the parchment quickly and scanned the words.
If you would be so kind as to visit me in my office as soon as possible, there are some arrangements I would like to discuss with you.
~Headmaster Albus Dumbledore
Bye the way, I love Mars Bars.
I narrowed my eyes, wondering what on earth Dumbledore wanted to talk to me about. I hadn’t done anything wrong, as far as I could remember, and James and Sirius hadn’t done anything too bad. Maybe it had something to do with my ‘furry little problem’ as the guys called it. Maybe Dumbledore had finally come to his senses and I was being kicked out.
“What’s wrong, Remy?” Sirius asked in mock concern. I rolled my eyes at him and crumpled up the note before pelting it at his head.
“See you girls later.” I said, ducking as James sent a throw pillow at my head. I laughed and clambered out of the Portrait Hole towards Dumbledore’s Office.
I wandered down the corridors tiredly, making sure I didn’t worry myself about the meeting with Dumbledore. It was probably nothing, like always.
When I finally reached his office, I remembered that it was guarded by two stone gargoyles.
“Er, can I get in, please? I have a meeting.” I said, feeling quite stupid for talking to sculptures. Then one of them shook its head.
“Password.” I titled my head in confusion before nodding. Glad I read the note through well, I replied, “Mars Bars.”
They hopped aside and let me through to the double doors. I knocked hesitantly before opening it and sticking my head in.
“Er, Professor? You wanted to see me?” I called in after spotting Dumbledore at his desk. His eyes found me and he nodded.
“Yes, of course, come right in.” I nodded and walked through the doors, stopping for a moment as I saw that someone was already here. I nodded at Bianca in acknowledgement, remembering that she was getting her schedule. I wondered if I had come too early.
“Now, I wanted to talk to you two about some things. I trust you two know each other already, yes?” He asked, as I took a seat next to Bianca. I glanced at her and nodded.
“Good. Well, Remus, Bianca, I think it would be best if you two spent more time together.” I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion. I saw Bianca do the same out of the corner of my eye. “As a prefect, Remus, I’m sure Miss Bianca would be very grateful to receive some help with her studies, seeing as she’s missed the last few weeks of term, due to illness.” I noticed that Bia looked away as he mentioned this. I wondered for a moment if she’d really been sick. Maybe some family problems… Shaking my head, I focused on Dumbledore’s words.
So… Dumbledore wanted me to tutor Bianca? I glanced at Bia, wondering if she was just as confused as I was. She nodded at Dumbledore, but I could tell by her expression that she was just as curious as me.
“I’m sure you two will get on just fine, and I hope that you will find that you have more in common than you think.” The Headmaster said vaguely, raising an eyebrow at us both. What was that supposed to mean? We nodded anyway and got up, crossing to the doorway. With one last curious glance at Dumbledore, I strode out into the hallway, Bianca close behind me.
We walked in silence back to the Common Room, until I was sick of the quiet and decided I better say something.
“So…” I started awkwardly. “I guess you need tutoring.”
Bia sent me a sharp glance and I immediately felt bad. I’d made it sound like she was stupid or something. Which she wasn’t, I was sure of that. I was sure of that for three reasons. A) It was probably impossible to be friends with Lily Evans without ending up smart, B) She was in the Slug Club, which I knew for a fact because I was in it too. And C) I’d had a crush on her in third year and found myself watching her in class, as stalkerish as that may sound. I quickly continued talking in fear of thinking about that anymore.
“What classes are you taking again?” I asked, sticking my hands in my pockets. I thought I saw her glance at me for a fleeting moment before turning back to the front.
“Erm, Potions, Defense, Transfiguration, Charms, Herbology, and Divination.” She said, counting them with her fingers. “You?”
“Same, except replace Herbology with Arithmancy.” I said, shrugging slightly. “What about Magical Creatures?” I asked, a thought striking me. “I thought that was your favorite subject.”
She glanced at me curiously for a second, and I mentally slapped myself for letting it slip that I knew what her favorite subject was. After an awkward moment, she shrugged.
“I guess I just lost interest. I’m not as fascinated with the animals anymore.” She said, but her voice was dull and I had a feeling that was all there was too it. I had never taken that class, because the animals all hated me. They could sense the beast in me and never let me forget it.
“Well, it works out pretty well then.” I said, returning to our original subject. “Do you want to meet me in the library this weekend to go over some stuff?” I asked as we rounded the corner to our Common Room. She smiled and nodded.
“Yeah, that sounds great. Ashwinder.” She added, talking to the Fat Lady, and the portrait swung open. We clambered in and she turned to me. The Common Room was empty, so I figured the guys were upstairs already.
“How about Saturday? There’s a Hogsmeade trip, so maybe later in the evening? Maybe around seven?” I nodded in agreement and flashed her a tired smile.
“Well, see you tomorrow, Bianca.” I said and then added, “I’m glad you’re back at school.” She smiled brightly and shrugged.
“Me too.” She said, turning to her staircase. “Goodnight.” She called back to me as she started up the stairs. I turned back to her and nodded. “’Night.”
I jogged up my stairs until I reached the Seventh Year Boy’s Dorm. I pushed the door open tiredly, not surprised to see the guys all huddled around my bed eating my secret stash of chocolate.
“Really, guys?” They spun around, guilt-and chocolate-on their faces. “You buy me chocolate and then you eat it?”
“We were hungry!” James said, his mouth full of the sweet dessert. "Clearly." I muttered. I rolled my eyes and shoved them off my bed, wrapping the little chocolate that was left in the foil and tucking it in my sock drawer. Sirius stuck his tongue out at me from where he had rolled onto the floor. I undid my tie and button shirt before pulling on an old ratty t-shirt. I was unusually tired tonight, and just wanted to get to bed. After taking off my shoes and socks and changing into a pair of sweat pants, I collapsed on my mattress, rubbing my eyes lazily.
“So, what did Dumbledore want?” Peter asked, and I groaned.“Nothing, just wanted me to help out Maddox with some schoolwork.” I replied tiredly.
“Like, tutoring?” James asked, just as Sirius said, “Like, alone?”
I groaned again and turned over, frustrated.
“No, and yes. She’s not dumb, just needs help catching up since she was gone. And Sirius, get your head out of the gutter for once.”
“What?” Sirius asked innocently. “She’s not bad looking and you need to find yourself a bird, mate. Besides, we all know you were obsessed with her in third year."
“Just shut up already, will you? I’m tired.” I whined angrily. Sirius let out a low whistle.
“Well, someone’s in a bad mood.” I threw a pillow at him and hit him square in the nose. Let’s just say nobody bothered me after that.
“Er, could I sit here?” I looked up and saw Bianca standing nervously behind the wooden chair that held my books. I smiled and shrugged, pushing my things off the chair to the cold floor. Bianca smiled and relaxed, collapsing into the wooden chair.
“Thanks.” She breathed. She looked different than last year, more tired and nervous than I was used to her being. Something else had changed too, but I couldn’t place a finger on it.
“No problem.” I said, leaning back in my chair. The Divination teacher, Professor Whittle, was talking, but, as usual, nobody was paying him any attention. “So, what’s the rest of your day look like?”
“I’m not really sure. I think I have Double Potions after this, and then Herbology after lunch.” She leaned down to fish something out of her bag, and her hand brushed softly against mine.
Suddenly, we both reeled back suddenly, as if burned. I stared at her strangely, and she mirrored my expression perfectly. As soon as our flesh had met, it felt as if I’d been electrocuted. My head throbbed painfully, and every molecule in my body seemed to be on full alert. It felt, I suddenly realized, just like before a transformation. We stared at each other for a minute, not knowing what to say. This had never happened to me before, and by her similar reaction, she hadn’t experienced it before either. After a second, I cleared my throat awkwardly.
“Hm, I think you might’ve shocked me. You know, all the, er, static in the air.” I didn’t have a clue what to say, but I needed to say something. She nodded, still looking suspiciously at me, before returning to her bag, careful not to touch me again. I tried to ignore her, but I felt strangely aware of every move she made, every breath she exhaled, every time she blinked. I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to clear my brain.
Bia sat up again, probably having forgotten what she was looking for in her bag. We sat in silence for a while. The air seemed tighter and thinner between us, so I found myself breathing quickly. Eventually, the tension died down, and I was back to normal.
“You two, why are you not reading?” I jumped as Whittle addressed Bia and I, jolting my attention back to the lesson. I looked around embarrassedly, but nobody else had any books out either. In fact, we didn’t even have any books for Divination.
“Er, reading, Professor?” Bia asked in confusion. Whittle nodded eagerly, his light grey hair flicking back and forth. “Yes, yes, reading palms! Exchange hands, please!” He said waving his arms around frantically, before turning to another table and scaring them to death as well. I now noticed that many people were staring blankly at their partner’s hands. I turned to Bia warily, quite nervous. What would happen if we touched again? She looked just as anxious.
“Er, ladies first?” I gulped, gesturing for her to give me her hand. She studied my outstretched arm before nodding slowly and hesitantly moving her hands towards mine. I held my breath as I slowly took it in mine. There was a small jolt in my chest, as if something was trying to escape from within me. I paled, knowing immediately it was Moony. Luckily, the feeling quickly went away. I relaxed and turned her hand so the palm faced towards the dark ceiling. I flipped a few pages of my noted on palm reading, tracing a finger over the lines in her smooth hand. Bia had visibly relaxed as well, and was now leaning back in her chair, a small smirk on her face.
“So, am I going to die today, tomorrow, what?” She mused humorously. I laughed and shook my head, thinking of how absurd this lesson was. As if you could tell your by your hand. I mean, really. “Ooh, look at that line there!” Bia exclaimed, pointing to a crease under her pinky finger. “Apparently that’s the ‘marriage and children’ line!”
I laughed and rolled my eyes. “Er, okay. Well, it’s broken, but then overlaps. So that means… you’ll be separated, and the reunite with the bloke.” I said, looking over my notes. “But there’s two line meeting it, so… you’ll have two kids?” I turned my observation into a question. Bia laughed and mused over my answer. “Hmm… two kids…”
“Good or bad?” I asked curiously. She nodded. “Good… I think. I hope.” I laughed and looked back at her hand.
“And here’s the life line.” I glanced at my noted for a few minutes before deciding which description matched Bia’s hand the most. “Says, ‘great strength and enthusiasm, as well as an improved love life’. Wow, for Whittle, these are surprisingly upbeat! Oh wait, that’s the wrong one. Actually, you’ll have a limited exploration of love and be betrayed by several people in your life.” I let out a low whistle before chuckling. “Better ditch all your friends now before they turn traitor, Bia.” She laughed and I soon joined in. Though it wasn’t too funny, I found it hard to stop, until finally Whittle shot us a dark glare, and I quickly shut up. Bia did too, but a few giggles leaked out.
“Two more minutes left! Make one more observation, and you’ll study your partners hands tomorrow!” Whittle announced. I sighed and turned back to the palm one last time.
“Erm, let’s see…” I started. I flipped through my notes some more, and Bia pulled back her hand momentarily to scratch her shoulder before returning it. I glanced down, and something caught me eyes.
The fabric of her sleeve had ridden up a bit, and a spot of white showed up on her tan skin. Bia didn’t seem to notice anything different as she gazed up absentmindedly at the ceiling. I took her hand curiously and tilted my head at the mark. It was clearly some sort of scar. I slid her sleeve up a bit more and turned her wrist to the side. The mark continued, and seemed to make a circle in her flesh. It looked strangely bright and a bit red, as if it was recent.
“What’s that?” I asked, studying the mark intently. Bia suddenly yanked her hand away from me, holding her wrist close to her heart. She stared at me with wide eyes for a second.
“Er, nothing.” She said quickly. “Just a cut, I, er, fell, during the summer, it’s nothing…” she stammered nervously, and it didn’t take a genius to see that she was hiding something. “I need to go.” She hurriedly gathered her stuff and stood up.
“Class isn’t ov—“ I was cut off as a magically magnified bell rang out. Before I could say anything, Bia was gone from the classroom, leaving me to my thoughts.
Again, I'm going to waste your time by making you read this pointless apology for the incredibly long wait! I've had this planned out but it was on a different computer, and I was too lazy to transition it to my laptop! But it's here now, so hooray!
Oh, and if anyone can help me figure out how to indent my paragraphs, I'll love you forever! Apparently, I figured it out for the last chapters, but I forgot again! If I remember how, I'll be sure to edit this chapter because this format is bugging me!
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