Chapter 18 : Chapter 17
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I slept late - as usual - and woke up to an empty cabin. Everything was going to slip back into that same routine of loneliness and the occasional quick visit. Disheartened, I picked up a book and went towards the kitchen to read while I breakfasted. The past few days of activity and crowded chairs and couches felt like a fluke.
After I sat down at the table with my book and juice in hand, I discovered a note that changed my forlorn mood.
"Don’t know when I’ll be back,
Practice your steps and see you (hopefully) tonight"
I pranced my way about the cabin floor, doing the steps Remus had shown me over and over. When I was bored with their simplicity I attempted to add in some flair - a flourish of my hands or a turn to help maneuver me around a chair or table.
I had the record player blasting and did not know someone else was in the room until I heard a slow clapping from by the door. I whirled around to see Lily leaning against the wall by the front window. My heart slowed, “Geeze, Lily you almost gave me a heart attack!”
She laughed and sat down on the window seat, “So you’re trying out new hobbies again, Holly?”
“You could say that.” I turned off the music, “What brings you here?”
She shrugged in reply. I knew she probably wanted to talk about James, but figured she wasn’t quite ready to yet. “I thought you would be staking out various suspicious persons’ activities today. Isn’t that what you normally get up to?”
Lily was fiddling with some loose threads on her jeans, “Yeah, that is the usual for us. Gets very head bobbing after a while.”
“You know, when you’re bored to pieces and no matter how alert you may have been before, you just start falling asleep.” While speaking, Lily slowly let her head drift forward, chin tucking in towards her chest, then she quickly jerked it back up, “And your head bobs.”
While laughing at Lily’s terminology and acting, I managed to ask, “So, what’s new?”
She looked straight at me, “Why don’t you ask what you really want to ask?”
“Fine. How are things with James? I know he realized how impulsive and stupid he was, but have you two talked since?”
“Yes, we’ve talked, but it’s mostly been a mix of begging for forgiveness or begging for my hand in marriage.” She stood up and started pacing back and forth. “I know that I love him, I do. But we’re ridiculously young. Too young. For marriage. Can you imagine? I’m not even twenty, hell, I’m only eighteen.” She stopped mid pivot, but before I could possibly think of something to say, she continued. “I know that Alice just got married, but Frank is in his mid-twenties. So many people are just running down the aisle, and I don’t think I want-” She stopped and walked towards the couch, falling forward onto her stomach.
“Want what, Lily?” I sat on the ground next to her, rubbing her back in small circles as if she was a child.
“I think, no, I know that I want to marry James. But I just don’t want it to be like this. As if we were eloping because of the state of the world.” She turned her head to face me, “I can’t figure out if I would do this in any other situation.”
“Lily, listen, you just answered it, you said you want to marry James. So what if there’s a long wait at the courthouse because everyone is eloping? It’s about you two. That’s it.”
“Holly, can you tell me another point of view? ‘Cause right now you’re repeating what I’m thinking. And I just - I just want a different thought process. I just keep thinking how I make such rash decisions, and this one is too important for me to just think of James and me and no other factors, does that make sense?”
I thought for a little, trying to decide if she wanted to hear what a gossip monger would think or if she wanted to hear what other people her age would think. Then I realized that it didn’t matter what she wanted to hear, what she asked for was entirely different. “Okay, so from my point of view, I think that although it may seem young, you are both out of school, You both have the capability of having a job despite your current unpaid spy work, so it’s not entirely irresponsible. And the whole state of the world business? If you think that you would marry James in five years, why not do it now? Why twiddle your thumbs and wait?
“But there are a few arguments against it. Find out why James wants to marry you, figure out why you want to marry James. If your reasons are better than finding fleeting happiness in a dangerous time and his are better than being excited by a good snog, then really think about it.”
Lily snorted at that, “Oh he can be so daft sometimes. Did he really think that it was an appropriate time for a proposal?”
“Men.” I joked, but Lily corrected me with a better phrasing, “No, boys.”
We sat there for a bit. I waited for Lily to collect her thoughts. I really did not know what to tell her, and had felt as if I was rambling the entire time.
Then again, she had rambled herself, so I guess we were even.
“If he asks me properly, I won’t say no.”
“Will you say yes?”
She nodded then rolled over onto her back, “Oh if eleven year old to fifteen year old me knew this, she’d invent a time machine just to slap me.”
“You really hated him, huh?”
“I wouldn’t say ‘hated,’ more like I thought of him as an adversary. We’ll never agree on anything, but I’ve learned to enjoy our spats or to just settle and do something his way to make him happy.”
It was the first time I really heard her speak so freely, and my opinion became solidified. “You should marry him.”
Remus and I were able to have short little lessons each night, or morning depending on what his assignments were. I did not feel much improvement though, seeing as it was mostly instruction with very little practice. It didn’t matter though, because the dancing did what was easiest and most appreciated for Remus and I. That is, gave us something to talk about and do together while still avoiding any feelings. Unfortunately, the more I got to see Remus’ more kinesthetic side (as opposed to seeing him reading on a daily basis), the more I found him attractive. It was the extra push of affirmation I needed when I realized that I was looking forward to his coming home not just so that other people would be in the house, but that he would be in the house.
Our routine would be to dance then eat while talking. Previously, I had realized that I liked being able to just be in Remus’ company but then I caught on that I liked to converse with him even more. He’d tell me about his days documenting the visitors to various shops in the shadier part of the wizarding shopping district and we’d get into discussions about why people were getting involved with what Remus told me was called ‘the Dark Arts.’ I found myself reading more of the books covering the walls not just for enjoyment but also to increase the amount of things that we could talk about.
When Frank and Alice had returned from their honeymoon, Alice had scolded Lily for even thinking that she should move out. This ended Lily’s quest for a new flat- or a room in someone else’s- and ended James’ panic that Lily may actually move in with Sirius. James hadn’t proposed since, but we all had a feeling that he was cooking up something special as he had confided in Sirius that he was making sure that he never messed up his chance again.
The full moon was approaching, as was Halloween, which I was amused to find out was actually a huge celebration in the wizarding world. The Marauders were not sure why it was exactly but had postulated that the wizarding world has always had quite the sense of humor and rather than shying away from muggle’s idea of the supernatural, they joke heavily upon it, and in olden times would even indulge it.
The last full moon had made both me and Remus physically ill, but this time it had more sympathy and we were both practically normal in the days leading up to it. I noticed that my senses had intensified even more noticeably. At first I took advantage by making sure I could identify each of the scents and sounds. Then it became almost unnerving when I finally isolated the most pungent of them all.
It was while we were dancing, Remus had decided to loosen up the instruction and just have us dance to an entire record to enjoy the night before the full moon. When he spun me in towards him, I stumbled and ended up slamming into his chest. The proximity coupled with the deja vu of the wedding made me realize that the mystery scent was the same as what I smelled on Remus at the wedding. But it wasn’t on Remus, because it was him. And, just as before, it was delicious and enticing. But this time it was much stronger as was my reaction to the scent.
Not wanting to linger, I apologized and quickly moved back into our regular hold. I looked up to see that he was looking at me curiously. Obviously, it must have been because I had taken several deep inhales, oh goodness, would one call them sniffs?, when i had smacked myself into him.
Although the music continued, we had both stopped. I started second guessing what his expression meant, but forced myself not to back away. But just as I was thinking to myself ‘Holly, don’t you run off just because you realize you’re attracted to him even more’ I realized that there was no need for me to think that, seeing as I was not moving away. And oddly enough, I was moving back towards, still holding his two hands. I soon found myself wrapping my arms around his shoulders and lifting myself towards him. I paused, for the briefest of moments, and looked up towards Remus’ eyes. As soon as we made eye contact, he leant in and put his lips to mine.
About fifty billion things went through my head but I ignored them all as instinct took over and I tightened my hold on him. I felt his arms wrap around me and pull me closer. We hardly parted a second to look back up into the other’s eyes, when we came together again.
A/N: I know it's short, but I think that you've all been waiting for this, right? Let me know what you think!
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