Chapter 1 : Of Friendship and Apples
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(don’t see to many of those, do you?)
(no. you don’t)
Eleven year old Marlene McKinnon spent a lot of time in the library. It was a fact of life. She was known, if known at all, as ‘that Gryffindor bookworm’. And that didn’t bother her. But it didn’t please her either.
Twelve year old Remus Lupin spent a lot of time with his friends. It was a fact of life. He and his friends were known, (and trust me, they were known) by the name of the Marauders. And that didn’t bother him. In fact, it pleased him very much. But twelve year old Remus Lupin spent a lot of his time in the library too, and he couldn’t help but notice Marlene McKinnon.
In December, thirteen year old Remus Lupin approached twelve year old Marlene McKinnon. “Excuse me?” He asked, blushing lightly. “I was just wondering if you needed some help on your assignment.”
Twelve year old Marlene McKinnon did not know what was going on. She wondered if Remus was speaking to her on a dare.
(I mean, why else would Remus Lupin talk to her?)
So Marlene McKinnon glared up at Remus Lupin and said, “Tell your friends that you did your dare. I don’t need help on assignments, least of all from you.”
Remus Lupin did not know quite how to respond. “It--it wasn’t a dare,” he stammered. “I was honestly wondering.”
Marlene McKinnon shot him a final glare before returning to her book. Remus Lupin tentatively sat down. When Marlene ignored him, he took it as a good sign.
For the next few days, thirteen year old Remus Lupin and twelve year old Marlene McKinnon sat next to each other in the library. Studying. Not saying a word between them. And, on Monday, Marlene’s stomach growled, and changed everything.
Remus looked up. “Hungry?” He asked. “I’m fine,” Marlene responded. Remus looked at her thoughtfully for a moment, and then abruptly stood. “Stay there,” He ordered. “I’ll be right back.”
Exactly seven minutes later (Marlene was counting. She was a perfectionist like that) Remus came back with a red, juicy apple.
Marlene was a bit surprised that he had come back, and not just used her growling stomach as an excuse to get away from her. But she thanked him and took the apple.
It was a good apple.
(they remained friends.)
(even though their friends doubted this.)
Remus Lupin had three good friends. James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew. And he had one great friend. Marlene McKinnon.
Remus wasn’t sure, at the moment, which was better. Three good friends, or one great friend. Was there a certain ratio from good to great? Can you convert those measurements?
Remus Lupin was fifteen years old when Sirius asked him the question that changed everything.
“Have you and McKinnon shagged yet?”
Remus, who had just taken a swig of butterbeer, sprayed it all over the table in surprise. James laughed at Sirius, who looked indignant.
“Oi! These are my last set of clean robes!”
Remus ignored Sirius’ last comment. “What did you just say?”
“I said, have you and McKinnon shagged yet? Don’t tell me you haven’t, Moony, I won’t believe you!”
“We’re not even dating, Sirius!” Remus exclaimed, wiping his mouth.
Even James looked surprised at this comment. “You aren’t dating?” He asked confusedly.
“No.” Remus said.
“Then why do you spend so much time together?” Sirius challenged. “Don’t give us the old ‘we’re just friends’ excuse!”
“But we are!” Remus exclaimed, looking utterly perplexed.
Sirius and James looked disappointed, but they dropped it. Remus didn’t like people pressing him for information, and, it was close to the full moon. Remus was extra violent around that time.
(at least, not while he was in his right mind.)
(she knew that.)
“Sirius and James think that we’re dating,” Remus told Marlene absently in the library one day. Marlene looked up from her Potions essay, her dark eyes boring into Remus’s light brown ones.
“I suppose there’s reason behind that.” She said. And then she looked back down at her essay.
Remus scooted his chair closer to Marlene’s. “Why? I mean, we’ve never so much as kissed!”
“Yes, but you have to look at it from their point of view,” Marlene said logically. “We spend lots of time together in the library, but we almost never talk to each other in classes. You’ve only eaten dinner with me once or twice. They probably think we’ve been sneaking around for years.”
Remus spluttered. “But that’s - that’s completely ridiculous! I mean, I’m me and you’re - well, you’re you, and--”
“Oi!” Marlene exclaimed, hitting his arm. “What’s that supposed to mean? I’m me - what do you mean by that? That I’m not attractive or something?”
Remus backtracked immediately. “Well, I mean, yes, you’re attractive - not that I think of you that way, I mean, you’re not attractive to me--” Remus saw Marlene’s eyes flash, and he stumbled over his words as he tried to get them out.
“I mean, yeah, you’re attractive to me, but I don’t think of you that way, that would be gross. Like dating a sister or something.”
Marlene scrutinized him for a moment, before nodding and going back to her essay.
“Acceptable excuse, Lupin. But you really do have to work on not showing your nervousness. It makes you an easy target.” She said analytically as she scratched down a sentence.
“An easy target for who?” Remus asked.
“An easy target for me--” Marlene said absently. “And also, for the Death Eaters. They don’t like half-breeds much.”
“What makes you think I’m a half-breed?” Remus asked nervously. Did Marlene know?
“Come on, Remus, I’m not oblivious. I’ve realized that you’re gone every full moon. I suppose, actually, you’re not a half-breed, you’re just plain werewolf, but you’re human, Remus, every other day of the month. So, technically, you’re a werewolf. But, to me--”
She looked up at him for the first time since she had started the speech.
“You’re just plain old human. I know you would never hurt me, at least, not when you’re in your right mind.”
Remus was touched. She could’ve just stopped there, and he would’ve been happy, but of course, she was Marlene, so she had to go on.
“But, my instincts tell me to go with fact instead of what my heart is telling me, so I’m calling you a half-breed. I hope you’re not offended.”
“If it was any other person, I would be.” Remus muttered, pulling out a big, red, juicy apple. He was about to take a bite when suddenly, it was gone.
“Thanks, Remus.” Marlene said, munching away happily on it.
Remus sighed. “You’re welcome, Marlene.”
(and they grew apart.)
(until they met again.)
Marlene looked over at the man hunched over the bar counter. She could hardly believe her own eyes, but she would recognize that sandy blond hair anywhere.
Remus spun around.
“Oh, it’s so good to see you again!”
“What are you doing here?”
“I just wanted to get a quick drink, Emmeline’s getting married tomorrow, and she’s freaking out.”
Marlene saw confusion flit across Remus’s face, and she said, “I’m maid of honor.”
“Oh!” Remus said. “Well, congratulations!”
“To be honest, I don’t think that really deserves congratulations. That deserves pity.”
“It can’t be that bad,” Remus said reproachfully.
Marlene chuckled darkly. “Emmeline told me that Lily and James are getting married soon - you just wait - I bet Lily’ll be even worse than Emmeline.”
Remus laughed. And that was the conversation that brought them back together. Marlene and Remus could once again, be considered good friends.
(and the Dark Lord was rising.)
(and he struck. like she always said he would.)
Remus was crying. The hot tears slipped down his cheeks, but he didn’t really care who saw. Marlene was gone. That was really all that mattered.
He had come in the dead of night, and He had killed her entire family. They had found her on the floor in the living room, a look not of sheer terror on her face, but of bravery and a hint of stubbornness. She had gone down fighting.
As the other funeral-goers dropped flowers or small parcels into Marlene’s tomb, Remus got his last gift ready.
As he passed the casket, he gently placed an apple in her free hand. The other was to be buried holding her wand across her chest.
Remus walked away. And as he did, he seemed to age a few years. And he felt sad, because Marlene wasn’t there to share all of his experiences with him. But, with age, also comes maturity, and the ability to move on.
And so he did.
But there would always be a little spot in his heart, for twelve year old, fifteen year old, and finally twenty one year old, Marlene McKinnon.
Aw, Remus and Marlene! So cute.
Funny story, I originally wrote this with Emmeline Vance, but then I realized that Emmeline survives the war, so I had to change it.
It was funny to me, okay?
So, you know the drill. Review. Compliments are welcome, critiscm is in some ways better.
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