It had been four days since James Potter had approached me with his genius plan, and it had been four days since I had spoken to either him or Remus. Everything was awkward.
Remus had waved at me one morning earlier in the week, but I was still half asleep and could only grunt in return. Another time in Charms, I found myself staring at him, lost in thought over this whole situation, but the second I caught his eye he blushed and looked away.
I had no idea what to expect for our first fake-date. It was frustrating, to say the least.
But it was finally Saturday morning and the sixth-year girls’ dormitory was in a flurry of clothes and makeup as everyone prepared for the first Hogsmeade visit. I had to duck multiple times as shoes kept flying at me.
Oh, the joys of being a teenage girl.
“Nola,” I moaned, poking my head around the posters of my bed. “Does this red sweater make me look like I’m trying too hard?”
Nola just looked at me with a raised eyebrow. Disdain was her specialty. “I didn’t know you actually liked the kid.”
I rubbed the back of my neck uncomfortably, a terrible habit. I had yet to tell either of my friends the truth about Remus and I. That’s not to say I hadn’t tried on several occasions, but the words never felt right on my tongue.
“I just want to look like nice,” I grumbled, going ahead and pulling the sweater over my head, careful not to crush my curls. It was tight with a subtle v-neck, and tucked nicely into my high-waisted jeans. “I’ll— I’ll see you around, Nola.”
“I want to hear every sexy detail after dinner!” Nola shouted, throwing a hairbrush after me. You know, for good measure.
I grabbed my coat and hat and slipped out the door before I ended up with a black eye.
After a quick breakfast, I headed out into the Entrance Hall and found Remus standing by front doors. Filtch kept sending him suspicious glares, but the boy seemed unaffected.
“Hey, Remus,” I said. My smile was forced, and my hands fumbled around awkwardly. “I hope you weren’t waiting long. What’s on the agenda for today?”
He couldn’t even manage a small smile. “I didn’t really plan anything. This was all James’ doing after all.”
I felt my eyebrows knit together. James had said this plan was a group decision, but Remus was acting like he’d rather wrestle with a Manticore then go out with me.
So in awkward silence, we made their way into the small wizarding village. By the time we arrived, my cheeks were bright red from the crisp fall air and damp leaves were stuck to our shoes.
“Hey, Sophie,” Remus said slowly, grabbing me around the wrist and stopping in middle of the High Street. He looked more serious than I had I ever seen him. “I really appreciate what you’re doing, but you really don’t have to do this.”
I was unsure of what to say. On one hand, the whole thing was incredibly awkward, but on the other, I never broke a promise to a friend. Not to mention that the boy in front of me was quite cute. Another shiver ran down my spine.
I quickly observed the way his brown hair fluttered attractively in the wind and the way his scars had a way of accenting his jaw line. And scars had always been a weird turn-on for me…
I was also quick to note the way his sweater hung loosely off his body, as if he were trying to hide in it, which I found strange considering those he associated himself with. But it was clear that nothing about his person seemed to indicate any ill intentions.
“How about…” I said slowly, slipping my wrist through his grasp so that our fingers intertwined instead. Where was this confidence coming from? “How about we see how today goes and then make a decision?” Remus seemed grateful at my words.
“But you might want to take note that you’re Puff friend is right over there and quite obviously plotting my death,” I pointed out with a subtle nod.
Remus glanced over his shoulder to find that Rebecca Swanson stood about a hundred meters away, glaring murderously at him.
“Quite right,” he chuckled. Everything about him seemed to loosen up, and a smile finally graced his features. “Shall we go get some chocolate?”
We spent the next few hours visiting every store on the High Street, and even a few down the more untraveled paths. Now that the ice was broken, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Remus was quite easy to talk to; he made me laugh constantly and we kept finding more and more things they had in common.
In Honeydukes, we discovered our mutual love of the Muggle television show Doctor Who; in Dervish & Banges, we spent nearly forty minutes debating who was the better author: F. Scott Fitzgerald or Ernest Hemingway; and in Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop we agreed that while Quidditch was a respectable sport, it just wasn’t our kind of activity.
It was nearly sunset by the time we settled down in the Three Broomsticks for a Butterbeer.
“We’re not going to miss dinner are we? Or get in trouble?” I asked, glancing from the setting sun to the distant castle. In the six years I had been attending Hogwarts, not once had I been in trouble with a professor or served a detention; my squeaky-clean record was my pride and joy.
“Stop worrying. Did you actually grow up with James, or was that one of his more elaborate lies?” It was meant as a light-hearted jab, but I couldn’t stop the sadness that settled over me. I crossed my arms over my chest uncomfortably.
“Sorry, I didn’t to upset you! James never mentions you, so I wasn’t sure...” Remus said softly, his words laced with regret. “Tell me about you and him?”
I found the subject thoroughly depressing, but something about the golden specs in Remus’ eyes set me at ease. Before I knew it the words were tumbling past my lips.
“Well, we’ve known each other since we were born basically. Our birthdays are a little less than a month apart, and we were the only kids on our street,” my eyes glazed over as I fell back into the past. I could picture all the times James and I had swam in the pond behind my house, or climbed the big tree in the park. “We were inseparable for so long, but… once we got to school, and I was put into Ravenclaw… well, I think James forgot I existed.”
“I wouldn’t say that,” Remus started, but the damage was done. Our fun, light-hearted date was ruined.
We quickly returned to the castle for the Halloween Feast, back in the same awkward silence our day started with.
A/N: I've decided that I'm going to use this story as my first attempt at writing fluff. We'll see how it goes!