Chapter 18 : The Talk and The Tryout
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The Talk and The Tryout
Image by Naala @ TDA
As usual on the first day of the school year, Myra didn't want to get out bed. The fantastic comfort of the Gryffindor beds were easy to get used to. But Hestia, being the kind and gentle best friend, pulled Myra forcefully out of bed and practically carried her into the bathroom, slamming the door shut. Five seconds later, before she had collected herself enough to get out, the bathroom door opened and in flew her Gryffindor uniform and robe. There was a thump, and Myra understood that Hestia was leaning on the door. "You can rummage through your underwear yourself," Hestia called through the door.
"But you have to let me out to do that! I can't walk around without underwear! What would I do if I was outside and there was a sudden blast of wind that lifted my skirt?!" Myra called back.
With a groan Hestia stepped away from the door so Myra could open it, but followed close behind as she searched her trunk for clean underwear and walked back into the bathroom. When Myra heard the thump of her best friend's body against the door, she put her mouth millimetres away from the wood and shouted: "I can manage without you standing guard by the door, Hestia Jones!" Hestia screamed in fright, and Myra heard her stumble quickly to the other side of the room. Chuckling to herself, she got ready for the day.
On the way down to the Great Hall, Myra took a detour along the fifth floor. She wanted to see if the prefect schedule had been put up yet. Hestia followed, while the other two Gryffindor sixth years continued down the stairs. They reached the prefects' office and Myra put her hand to the door, opening it for the both of them. That was the only way someone could be let inside, you had to be a prefect, a Head, or a member of staff. The door would recognize you as such and let you inside.
On the left side of the door, a large corkboard took up most of the wall, where the schedules and other important pieces were pinned for the prefects' uses. Myra scanned it for her or Remus' name, and found they would be patrolling on Tuesday. That meant that either she was going to have to quit Gobstones Club, or Gobstones had been moved.
For curiosity's case, Myra perused the rest of the list. Her and Remus' colleagues on Tuesdays were Mary MacDonald and Michael Baddock. She harrumphed at the thought of cooperating so closely with MacDonald; who clearly had feelings for Remus also.
"Not happy about the day you were given?" Hestia asked amusedly.
"No no, Tuesday looks good, if Gobstones has been moved. But Mary MacDonald is a part of the other team patrolling on Tuesday."
"So! I don't like her. I don't like her one bit!"
Hestia cleared her throat and looked towards the other end of the table, where Lily sat writing on a piece of parchment, looking up at Myra's outburst.
"Is there a problem with the schedule, Myra?" she asked helpfully.
"No no, it's perfectly fine, Lily. Only... Has Gobstones been moved from Tuesday?" Myra blushed a bit in embarrassment. If she'd realised Lily was there, she wouldn't have said anything about MacDonald.
"Yes, it has. It's on Wednesdays now, I think."
"Oh, well, then the schedule is perfectly fine in my book."
"Good. Don't hesitate to let me know if that should change."
Myra nodded and turned back towards the list. Having worked with Lily the previous year, she knew the girls always took her duties seriously and was there to help if anyone needed it. Now that she had become Head Girl, though, Myra felt very differently about working with her. Suddenly she had become someone who seemed so far above her. It had not felt that way with Carly Hanson or Timothy Ivory, and it definitely didn't feel that way with James, but Lily had somehow elevated to something beyond humanity. It wasn't something she had done, it wasn't anything related to the way she behaved, she seemed just as kind and honest and trustworthy as always, but Myra couldn't help but feel intimidated.
She looked quickly through the rest of the list, noting when Lowell had patrol. He was sure to tell Ashley himself, but just in case, Myra memorised it. He patrolled on Thursdays, with Alistair Yule, a fifth year Hufflepuff, and the other couple was Stewart Ackerley and Saffron Rosencrans, seventh and fifth year Ravenclaws.
Back on their way to the Great Hall, Hestia asked Myra what her problem with Mary MacDonald was. Myra wasn't sure what to tell Hestia, because she didn't know if she was ready to reveal to her best friend that they had all been right about her feelings for Remus. Part of the truth seemed like the best compromise. "She's just a rambling, annoying, helpless little... doormat."
"That's harsh. Do you even know her?"
"There's just something about her that really rubs me in the wrong way."
"You haven't been this annoyed with her before."
It was a pain how omniscient Hestia could be sometimes. "I've seen sides of her lately that I would have rather not have seen, so I've changed my mind about her."
"What sides have you seen?"
"And you say I'm the curious one," Myra snapped suddenly. Hestia shut up, but Myra knew her best friend's mind was still working, thinking and trying to figure Myra out.
At the breakfast table the Heads of Houses walked around and distributed the class schedules. Some of Myra's classes were at the same time as last year, which was nice. It meant a few less things to memorise. The schedule also showed that Lily had been right; Gobstones Club had been moved to Wednesday. But the best part about the new schedule was the four periods Myra had with no classes at all. The last two periods on Monday and the one before and after lunch on Wednesday were free. It would have been nice if at least one of them was at the start of the day so she could sleep in, but having them in blocks like this worked very well too.
As Hestia had predicted, her own schedule was packed. And on top of attending a full week of N.E.W.T. level classes, she had Quidditch practice two nights a week. If she was picked for the Quidditch Team again, that is.
The only classes for Myra on Monday were Charms and Herbology. Even though they weren't sitting their N.E.W.T.s until the end of next year, the professors began lecturing about how hard they were and how much they had to study to get through them. They weren't called Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests for nothing.
So when lunch came and Myra had the rest of the day off until dinner, it was with a yawn and a sigh of pleasure that she sat down and dug into some toast.
"Tired?" Hestia asked next to her.
"Incredibly. My body is still on holiday time. Besides, who wouldn't be tired after Sprout and Flitwick going on and on about hell on earth!"
"I hear you," Ashley chimed in. "I don't have free periods today, you lucky goat."
Myra smiled widely, suddenly feeling more invigorated.
She decided to spend her two free periods in the common room. She only had to make a quick stop in the library on the way up, to get some books for the Charms homework they had gotten already. It wasn't a soft start to the year either. It was straight into a gill creation charm. Maybe the teachers were scared Myra would fall into the lake again.
In the common room there was only one other student, a boy in her year named David Wiley. Myra called hello to him, as she took the opportunity to get an entire couch to herself. Eyeing the comfiest of them all, she rushed over, dropped her bag on the floor and sank down with a very loud sigh of contentment.
"It's nice to have free periods, isn't it?" David Wiley asked her.
Myra couldn't see his face from where she was lying, the couch was so soft and deep. It almost buried her. "It definitely is." She was sure there was nothing better in this world than lying there, knowing most of the other students were sitting on hard chairs, listening to some boring lecture with some boring teacher.
But conscience nagged at the back of her mind. With great difficulty she sat up and found everything she needed for her Charms homework. They were to write a three foot long essay on the theory of the Gill-Creation Charm, focusing on the ways it could damage the lungs if performed incorrectly.
It went fairly well, and by the time the rumble of students could be heard from the floors below, Myra was half finished.
David Wiley packed up his stuff and headed for the portrait hole.
"You're going to class?" Myra asked.
"Yeah, I got Pre-Healing." He didn't look too thrilled.
"Bummer. I have another free period," she bragged with a smile so wide it almost hurt.
"Lucky you." He actually looked jealous.
"Yes, lucky me." Myra grinned and waved goodbye. "Say hi to Hestia for me!"
Five minutes later the portrait hole opened and Remus entered. He stopped short when he spotted Myra.
"Hello, Remus," Myra spoke warmly. "Do you have a free period now too?"
"Hello," he said back. "Yeah, free period. Excuse me." And then he walked across the common room floor and up to the boys' dormitory. It was obvious that he was hurrying, but trying to make it look like it was just a casual walk.
Myra sighed, and went back to her essay. But to her surprise, he came down again ten minutes later and sat down in another couch not far from hers. She was sure this was progress, and turned and smiled at him when he sat down. He actually smiled back, albeit a bit strained, but a smile was a smile.
The two worked in silence for the next hour or so, and by then Myra had finished her essay. All that was left was to read through it, but she could do that before bed. Wanting to break the silence, she chose a subject she was sure he would give semi-good answers to.
"We have patrol tomorrow," she began.
"Yeah, it'll be good," he answered absent-mindedly.
Good? Did she hear him right? Did that mean he was looking forward to patrolling with her? Or was it some other reason that made it good? That Mary MacDonald was a part of the other pair, perhaps?
"Good?" Myra had to ask. "Patrolling isn't really that enjoyable. Searching half the castle for students out of bounds that wouldn't respect you even if you were the Minister for Magic?"
Remus' head snapped up from his work and he looked bewildered for a moment. Then it looked like a torch lit in his head and he blushed. "No, well, I mean-" he stuttered. "I just mean that it'll be nice to do something again. Being home was a bit boring," he said too quickly for Myra to believe him. He focused on his book again, looking even more into it than before.
"Right, that makes sense." Even though he was lying, it did make sense. "You wouldn't happen to know what half of the castle we're getting this time? The bottom or the top? I always got the bottom half last year. It would be nice to get the top this year. Not as many Slytherins to deal with."
Remus' lips tugged a bit at the corners, but he did not look up from what he was doing. "I don't know. Guess we'll just agree on what half we take when we meet up with Michael Baddock and Mary tomorrow."
"Yeah. Would it be alright with you if we tried for the top half?"
This time Remus looked up at Myra's pleading voice. "Sure, I don't mind. I've done both halves several times, and I prefer the top half. Like you said; not as many Slytherins to deal with."
"Great!" Myra smiled widely. Remus actually smiled back, and Myra noticed that her heartbeat accelerated slightly. Terrified that he might hear it, she turned quickly away and calmed herself down by slowly and carefully rolling up the parchment with the Charms essay.
For the short half hour that was left before dinner, Myra just sat in the couch with her eyes closed, listening to the scratch of Remus' quill.
She must have dozed off, because suddenly she was woken by Remus' voice. "Are you sleeping, Myra?"
She started, opened her eyes and searched the room for him. He was over by the portrait hole, his bag over his shoulder.
"No, I'm not sleeping," she said quickly, obviously lying.
He smiled a bit. "It's dinner now. I thought I should wa- remind you."
Then he walked out of the portrait hole, when Myra had hoped that he would wait for her so they could walk down together. She packed up her things, went up to the dorm to put them away and then headed down for dinner feeling a bit depressed.
Patrol on Tuesday evening went better than Myra expected, though not as well as she would have hoped. She and Remus had managed to get the top half of the castle, and it was a lot better than the bottom half. Remus hadn't been very talkative, but he had always been professional when it came to being a prefect. Maybe he took it a bit too seriously, now that he didn't want to talk to her.
The rest of the week was incredibly busy. Every professor pressed on the difficulty of the N.E.W.T. classes and how important it was to study hard and make sure you didn't fall back, and how difficult it would be to get ahead again. They were all like a broken time turner. They also clearly had no idea how nervous and stressed they made their students. Madam Pomfrey had better have a large stock of the Calming Draught ready, especially next year. If this sixth year was going to be half as hard as the professors promised, how bloody hard was the seventh year going to be when they would actually sit their N.E.W.T.s?
Try-outs for Gryffindor's Quidditch team were held on Friday after dinner. Henry had booked the pitch for the occasion, and Myra, Anna, Ashley and Lowell gathered in the stands to watch Hestia defend her position as Beater. Marie joined them as well, wanting very much to see a Quidditch tryout.
Not long after they had sat down, did Remus, Peter and Sirius arrive, sitting down not too far away from them. Myra waved in greeting. They all waved back, Myra was pleased to see.
Down on the pitch, the tryouts had begun. Henry didn't appear to be the slightest bit nervous as he surveyed the old team huddled together at one side and the new candidates in a wide spread group at the other side.
According to Hestia there was really just two available spots on the team; two of the Chasers had left school, but any of the spots could be changed if the captain saw greater potential in another player.
Henry began by making the new candidates stand in groups according to what position they wanted to try out for. Since there was a greater need to fill the two empty Chaser spots, he had the Chasers fly first. James was the only Chaser left, and he too had to fly up and prove his worth.
Myra wasn't very interested in Quidditch, and couldn't really see if anyone was much better than anyone else, but it did look like James might have the upper hand as they started tossing the Quaffle between themselves, and then trying to score against the current Keeper afterwards. Whenever James had the Quaffle or managed to score on the Keeper, Remus, Sirius and Peter cheered like they had never seen anything so wonderful.
Next group up were the Beaters. Since Henry as the Captain really couldn't be kicked off the team, he was excused from that group. Hestia seemed to fly well, but as far as Myra could see, so did a few of the other candidates.
After the Beaters, the Keepers were up, and finally the Seekers.
To end the tryouts, Henry said a few words. "I see that many of you have great potential, so I know we will get a strong team this year, maybe even stronger than last year. Two of you will definitely be our new Chasers, but I have to consider if any of the old team members need replacing. I will post the new roster on our message board Monday morning. Have a good weekend!"
The players went back into the changing rooms, and Myra and her friends and sister, and Remus and the boys, descended the stands.
"I don't see Henry changing any of the old team members," Lowell commented on the way down. "They're used to working together as a team, and it will be enough work to incorporate the two new Chasers into the group dynamic."
Sirius, Remus and Peter seemed to only now notice that they had two Hufflepuffs among them, stopped short, and looked absolutely horrified at the idea.
"What are you doing here spying on our Quidditch team?!" Peter asked sharply.
Marie shrank at bit, partly hiding behind Myra.
"I'm not spying," Lowell said with indignation. "I'm here because Ashley wanted to be here."
"Still, you might be reporting back to your Captain anyway," Remus said.
"Guys, it's just a game," Myra said, laying a hand on her sister's shoulder. "And it's just Hogwarts! It's not like it's the World Cup or anything."
All the boys looked at her as if she had Spattergroit. "So-orry, I'll shut up now," she said waving her hands in surrender.
"I won't report anything to any captain," Lowell continued as if Myra hadn't interrupted. "Nothing from Gryffindor to the Hufflepuff captain, and nothing from Hufflepuff to your captain."
"I agree," Sirius said after a few long seconds, and everyone began walking again. "The team is used to each other; they read each other and can fly seamlessly together. Getting two new players into the system will be more than enough work."
The Quidditch talk continued all the way back to the castle and into the Entrance Hall. There Ashley and Lowell went their own way, Marie headed back down to the Hufflepuff common room, and the Gryffindors climbed the stairs to their tower. In the common room the witches separated from the wizards, and a half hour later the Quidditch players themselves came in.
"Any ideas yet, Henry?" Myra asked him as he walked past.
"Wait for Monday," he answered shortly and ran up the stairs to the dorms before anyone else could bother him.
When Hestia woke up on Monday morning, she soon had the rest of her dorm up with her. She was being extremely noisy – obviously impatient and ready to go down and see the team roster. Her excitement was infectious, and even Myra hurried to get dressed, almost tripping several times as she ran down the stairs with her best friend.
Not many Gryffindors were up yet, but a few of the students from the tryout already stood in front of the notice board. Hestia was just short enough to be unable to look above the crowd even when she stood on her toes, so Myra who was just a couple of inches taller stretched to her fullest height and read the roster out loud.
"Seeker: Grace Bennet. Keeper: Simon Penhale. Chasers: James Potter, Edgar Eager, Agnes Garfield. Beaters: Henry Goldstein and... " Myra stopped, and dropped down to her regular height again, just to play with Hestia.
"Come on!" Hestia cried out, and just then the students who were blocking the board walked away.
Hestia snapped around, but before she could read who the second Beater was, Myra said it. "And Hestia Jones."
Hestia shouted in joy and jumped over and crushed Myra in what was supposed to be a hug. Myra chuckled at her friend.
"Did you really think he was going to replace you? You and Henry are perfect together as Beaters! Why would he put that at risk by taking on an untrained Beater?" Myra asked when Hestia finally let her go.
"You never know. All the spots are open for the taking during tryouts."
"Yes, but how often have old team members been replaced without them voluntarily leaving the team?"
Hestia shrugged as if saying 'you have a point'.
"Let's go get some breakfast," Myra suggested.
During the next patrol, Remus was a bit more talkative. He actually began a few conversations and asked Myra about her summer. Myra gladly answered all his questions and even dared asking some in return.
He seemed to be warming up a lot faster than what she had expected from the warnings Sirius had given her. Still, Myra was careful, kind of thinking of him as a skittish animal. You needed a slow and careful approach to be able to even get close enough to start earning its trust. Myra decided that if she shared personal information with him without asking for the same in return, the two of them would eventually get back to their earlier friendship status. Now that Myra acknowledged the feelings she had for Remus, it was more important than ever for her to get back to that. Only then could she start thinking about turning it into something more.
It definitely looked like it was working.
"I realised I really miss the walks in Hope Woodlands with my father," Myra said, finishing telling Remus about her and Marie's day out. "I think I might continue the tradition when both Marie and I are out of Hogwarts. And then one day I can maybe take my own children up there."
"It sounds like a nice place," Remus commented.
"It is, it's so rugged and barren, but still really beautiful. A bit touristy perhaps, but one can live with that." She smiled at him, and he actually smiled back, a smile not tinged with fear or hesitation, it was just a smile. It warmed Myra up inside, and she resisted the urge to grin like an idiot. "You should go there sometime."
"Maybe I will." Myra hoped he would suggest that she could show him around Hope Woodlands, but he didn't. She didn't dare suggest it herself.
A bang and a screech caught their attention, snapping them both out of their comfortable conversation. They pulled out their wands and were immediately on alert. The sounds came from the next hall down, and they approached with care. When they saw the hall light up with red light from a spell, they ran down it. Still, they were too late to save a young Gryffindor from falling stunned to the ground at the hands of a Slytherin.
"Expelliarmus," Remus shouted. The Slytherin's wand flew out of his hand before he had proper time to react to Myra and Remus' appearance.
Trusting Remus to handle the Slytherin, Myra ran over to the fallen Gryffindor and revived her and helped her up. It was a fourth year, named Jolie King.
"What are you going around Stunning people for, Snape?" Remus asked, twirling Severus Snape's wand with his fingers. The Slytherin was stuck between Myra and Remus, his back to Myra.
"Why do you care, Lupin?" There was a slight twist to the way he pronounced Remus' last name, making it almost sound as if it rhymed with 'lycan'.
As Myra was standing with one arm around King's shoulders, she saw Remus' eyes narrow. "I have common sense, unlike some."
"That's not the only thing you have, you filthy-"
"You really dare turn your back to two Gryffindors, Snape?" Myra interrupted him, not wanting to hear what Snape had intended to call Remus.
The Slytherin snapped around, as if he had forgotten all about the girl he had attacked and the girl who came to stop him.
"No matter how you turn you have a Gryffindor free to attack you from behind. I thought Slytherins were all about their own survival no matter the cost."
"Shut up, you little slut!"
Myra laughed. "Oh, that was nice of you!"
"Thirty points from Slytherin," Remus said calmly.
Snape snapped around again. "How dare you take points from me?" He made to unsheathe his wand, but then remembered that Remus had it. Snape lunged forward to take it.
"Protego," Myra said. Remus seemed slightly surprised at Snape's advance, but breathed out when Snape ran into an invisible barrier. "You're getting detention. With, let's see..." Myra pretended to think hard. "Professor McGonagall."
"Now, I'll give you back your wand, Snivellus, and then you will walk calmly back down to your dungeons, and you will not cast anything on anyone. There are two more prefects out, and they have already been alerted to your behaviour tonight." Remus' eyes made a split second move to Myra, who then discreetly waved her wand in the air and sent a message to Mary MacDonald and Michael Baddock. Then she let the protective bubble around Remus dissolve, and Remus cautiously held out the Slytherin's wand.
Snape gritted his teeth, walked briskly over to Remus, forcefully grabbed his wand and stomped away.
"Thank you," Jolie King said breathlessly when Snape was out of sight.
"What made him attack you?" Myra asked. Just because Snape had done something wrong, didn't mean the young Gryffindor hadn't.
"I know I'm out after curfew," she answered. "I've been with my best friend in Ravenclaw Tower and we lost track of time, and I was on my way back when he came out from nowhere. He startled me and I lost my bag and everything fell out. I was picking it up, asking if he could help me. But he just stood by and watched. When I was done, I said 'thanks', and that was when he stunned me."
"Five points from Gryffindor since you were out after hours, then," Remus said.
"I deserve that. I'll go straight up to the tower and go to bed. I promise."
"Good." Remus and Myra smiled as Jolie King left.
"Snivellus?" Myra asked when the girl had left. "I've heard him being called that before, but I can't get over how fitting it sounds."
Remus actually laughed. "Yes, it is fitting isn't it? A bit slimy, a bit sneaky, and a bit disgusting. James was the one who came up with it actually, back in fourth year. He hates Snape more than any of us does. Guess it's because he used to be friends with Lily."
"Yeah, how is that going? Lily and James being Head Boy and Girl together?"
They began walking again.
"I don't know. James rarely talks about what goes on in those meetings the two have, alone, and with Dumbledore. But... Lily hasn't killed him yet, so that's something, I suppose."
The rest of the evening went by in a much lighter fashion than before the Snape incident. Myra went to bed quite happy that night. Tired, but happy.
As the week went on Myra thought about the full moon that was approaching in a couple of week's time. She knew Remus would disappear to 'visit his sick aunt', and she knew she had to talk to him about it.
While things went well between them during patrols, it was a slightly different story the rest of the time. Though Remus didn't outright ignore and avoid her like before summer, he certainly didn't seek her out. Getting him alone so they could talk was impossible. The only solution she saw was during the upcoming patrol. Hestia understood that Myra had something planned, and wanted to know what trouble she would be getting into this time. Feeling slightly guilty, Myra said that she would not get into trouble; she was just planning to chat to Remus about the thing she wasn't allowed to talk about.
Tuesday evening arrived. It was now exactly one week left until the full. She wanted to make sure that he didn't have to lie to her about it anymore, and that she would be very understanding as to why he couldn't patrol with her. No matter what Sirius said about waiting for Remus to open up; Myra had to tell him. While she was naturally curious, with a need to know everything, she also sometimes had the need for others to know things. And Remus had to know that she was fine with this.
"Remus," she said suddenly on the fifth floor, on their way back to the common room after the patrol. "I need to talk to you about something." She had stopped and looked at him as he turned around slowly.
"What about?" he asked, sounding unsure for the first time that night.
Myra took a deep breath. "About... next Tuesday?" Her answer sounded almost like a question.
"What about next Tuesday?" Myra practically saw Remus shutting down in front of her, all the progress they had made the last few weeks flying right out the window.
"Maybe we should go somewhere where we won't be overheard," she suggested and looked around the hall. There was an empty classroom down to the left; they had chased a third year Ravenclaw out of there an hour before. "In there?" she asked and pointed.
"Alright," Remus answered and hesitantly followed her. Somehow Myra had thought he would have come up with some silly excuse not to go inside and talk.
Once inside Myra lost her nerve again. Remus had walked over to the wall of windows and was staring out at the dark autumn sky. Myra waited, unable to decide how to best approach this. Losing his patience, Remus turned around with a stony face.
"It's getting pretty late. Was there something you wanted to talk about or can we go back to the tower?"
"There is something I want to talk about, I just... I don't know how." She paused, closed her eyes for two seconds and began, sink or swim. "You'll be gone next Tuesday, won't you? To," Myra made quote marks with her fingers, "'to visit your sick aunt'. Am I right?"
Remus nodded slowly.
"But you know that I know-" She stopped. "Can you make sure this room is properly silenced and locked?"
He nodded. He drew his wand, cast a few spells, and put it away again. Myra could have done it herself, but this way he could make the precautions he felt comfortable with.
"But you know, that I know that... that you won't really be going to visit your sick aunt, right?"
Remus didn't do anything for several long seconds, just stared at her. Then he nodded even slower than before.
"And you also know that I know what really happens on the upcoming Tuesday night?"
Another slow nod.
"Is it because you know that I know that you have been avoiding me a bit lately?" Myra was mortified to hear something horribly sad entering her voice as she said that, but it was already said.
Nod. Didn't he know any other way to communicate all of a sudden?
"First of all I want you to know that there is no point in avoiding me, Remus." Myra's courage began coming back when he showed no sign of running away. "What you are or what you're not makes no difference to me."
She let that sink in before continuing. "I am still your friend, still on your side, no matter what. I have not told anyone about what I know. Professor Dumbledore talked to me about the significance of your safety, and I agree with him, it's very important. And your friends have also made it crystal clear to me that if I so much as bend a hair on your head in the wrong direction, I'm going to regret the day I was born. Well," she hurried to add, "they didn't say it quite like that. The general meaning was quite clear, though."
Myra took a few more deep breaths before she finished what she wanted to say. "I just want you to know that you don't have to lie to me about what happens next Tuesday evening, or any evening it occurs after that. And if there is anything, anything, I can do to make it easier for you, please let me know."
After she had said what she wanted, she felt emotionally exhausted. She staggered backwards to the nearest wall, leant on it and sank down to the floor.
Remus stood in the exact same position for several long minutes before Myra couldn't stand any more silence.
"Say something, Remus. Please..." she pleaded.
"I-I don't know what to say." His voice was raspy, as if he hadn't used it in a long time.
"Saying that you won't avoid me anymore and that things between us can go back to the way they were before the summer holidays. It would be great if we could go back to that, but I understand if you don't want to be friends with me, I really do. But I want us to be friends." Myra felt pathetic sitting there on the floor, practically begging him to be friends with her.
He began walking back and forth in front of the windows, arms crossed protectively over his chest, dark robes twisting behind him every time he turned. Myra had to close her eyes, she felt dizzy watching him walk like that.
Suddenly the sound of his footsteps stopped and Myra opened her eyes again. He was looking straight into her eyes, not wavering. "First of all, I need you to confirm something for me," he began. "You have been talking a lot about next Tuesday. But you haven't actually said what happens on Tuesday evening. I need to hear you say it, so I know that you fully understand it. What is going to happen on Tuesday evening and what does that have to do with me?"
Myra blinked a couple of times. Didn't he know that she knew after all? Why did he need her to say it?
Did it really matter?
"There is a full moon next Tuesday evening. And because you are inflicted with lycanthropy, you will change into a werewolf when the moon rises."
Remus' face twitched when she said 'lycanthropy' and 'werewolf'. If he didn't like hearing it, why did he make her say it?
"Anything else?" he asked.
"Anything else? No, nothing else."
"Oh, there's one more thing, a huge thing," he said bitterly, raising his voice slightly. "I turn into a monster that can kill anyone in this school if given the opportunity!"
"But you won't be given the opportunity, will you! Or we'd all have been dead already."
"You never know what might happen."
Myra ignored his pessimistic comments. "You never know what might happen if you get out of bed in the morning either. Someone might drop an anvil on your head. Someone might curse you when you turn a corner. I've said what you needed to hear me say. Now what? Are we still friends?"
He stared at her. Myra stared right back at him, until her eyes began stinging and she had to look away.
"Yes, we're still friends."
She snapped her head back up. "We are?" She couldn't believe it.
"Yes," he confirmed quietly.
A huge smile of relief and delight spread across Myra's face.
"Why are you smiling so much?" Remus asked.
"You said we are still friends."
"And that makes you this happy?"
Now it was Myra's turn to nod; only she did it a lot more enthusiastically than he'd done earlier. Remus couldn't help it, a small smile crossed his face too, a smile that grew and grew until it spanned from ear to ear.
It was very late when Myra and Remus came back to Gryffindor Tower. Only Ashley was still in the common room, probably only having come back herself. Must be nice to date a prefect that knew how to avoid anyone on duty.
"Why are you so late?" she asked them.
"No particular reason," Myra answered. "Good night, Remus."
"Good night, Myra."
Remus went up to the boys' dorm and Myra began climbing the stairs to the girls' dorm. Ashley came hurrying after her.
"Why are you so late?" she repeated.
"We were talking," Myra answered, stifling a yawn.
"But... You look happy?"
"Should I have been sad?" Myra opened the door to their room. Hestia and Anna were still up, playing a game of Exploding Snap on Anna's bed.
"No, but... You look happy."
"You do look happy," Hestia said. "Why does she look so happy?"
"I don't know," Ashley said. "I was sitting down in the common room, minding my own business when she and Remus comes walking in through the portrait hole. Remus didn't look like he had just swallowed a stone, and Myra looked like every weekend had been made Christmas."
"Oh oh oh oh oh!" Anna jumped up and down where she sat in time with each sound she made. "I know, I know! They snogged! Or better yet, shagged! You are glowing a little bit! As if you've just been shagged!"
"Oh, come on!" Myra complained. "Not everything is about snogging or shagging!"
"What happened then?" Hestia asked, not noticing one of the cards in front of her starting to vibrate dangerously.
Myra considered her answer, and decided to go with a very simple one. "We stopped to talk." She shrugged as if it wasn't a big deal, when on the inside she was shouting and screaming and jumping with joy. The future looked exceptionally bright.
Before they could ask any more questions, she went into the bathroom. Starting to brush her teeth, here came the sound of a small explosion from the other side of the door, followed by a pained cry from Hestia. Her card had exploded, singing her fingertips.
When she was done, Myra, still grinning, started to get ready for bed.
"She's still smiling," Ashley said amazed.
"Talk to us, Myra," Anna pleaded.
"Remus and I are back to being friends, like we were before the summer. That's all," she gave in. "I'm tired, I'm going to bed, so no more questions. Night!" Myra changed into her pyjamas, climbed into the four-poster and under the covers, then closed her eyes. She did not draw the curtains, not wanting to make the girls think she didn't want to talk to them.
"Myra," they nagged. But she slowly started breathing deeper and louder, as if she was asleep.
She knew it wasn't fair to act like this with them, but it was difficult because she couldn't say anything about Remus' secret. And she certainly didn't feel ready to say anything about the feelings that were growing inside of her. Soon, she promised herself, maybe she'd tell Hestia. The other two would have to wait a while longer.
I'm sorry this has taken longer than planned. But now it's here, and I hope it was worth the wait!
Two months until NaNoWriMo! Thank Merlin I'll be castrating my kittens around that time, hopefully they will be calm enough so I can focus on writing in November...
The next chapter will most likely take three weeks before it's out, so expect that around the weekend of 21-23. of September. Maybe a few days before, maybe a few days after, seeing as I'm really going away that weekend. Please review if you have anything to say!
Coming: Chapter 19 – Curiosity Nearly Killed the Cat (Title not set in stone)
Myra dared to take a few steps away from the three of them while holding onto her left arm, only to back into something solid that grabbed her around the waist, forcing the arm holding her wand to stay down, and covered her mouth, muffling her scream of terror.
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