Chapter 2 : Fool in the Rain
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“And the warmth of your smile starts a-burnin’ and the thrill of your touch gives me fright and I’m shaking so much, really yearning. Why don’t you show up, make it all right?” – Led Zeppelin, 1979
“Oh come on Moony, can we stay?”
“Fine,” Remus Lupin finally caved as he set down his fork and knife by his empty breakfast plate. “You’re allowed to eat one more pancake but after that, we need to get outside. We have a lot to do today.” James nodded, gave him the thumbs up, and finished the rest of his coffee while Sirius and Peter lunged for the remaining stack. The two boys stuffed as many pancakes as they could into their mouths and before swallowing, also gave the thumbs up to their friend.
Remus rolled his eyes.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by idiots.”
“At least we’re entertaining idiots!” Sirius finally replied after swallowing his breakfast. “And we wouldn’t have this problem if you just let me pass out the cards by myself!”
“No, no, no,” James said, waving his hands back and forth, “we already made a deal. We are going to sit by the Lake and discuss the people you want to invite. If we let you off the leash, the party would only be filled with women you’ve shagged. Now let’s go. Moony’s right, we have fucking loads of set up to do.”
Remus raised his eyebrow and playfully smirked at Sirius before getting up from his seat at the Gryffindor table. After swinging his bag over his shoulder, he joined his best friends as they made their way out towards the Black Lake. Soon, Remus felt hot and when the Marauders settled on the edge of the water under a large willow tree, he stripped off his beige sweater. The werewolf then tucked his white t-shirt into his chocolate corduroys and fished his black square sunglasses out his pocket.
“Merlin, it’s a gorgeous day,” Sirius said with complete awe as he looked up at the bright blue sky above him. “It’s hot but not too hot. Just enough that the girls wear practically nothing.”
“You really do have a one track mind, Padfoot,” Peter chuckled as he leaned up against the trunk of the large tree. Remus sat down as well and took a deep sigh as he looked out at the lake. It truly was a beautiful day but deep down inside, he felt something other than joy; he knew this would be the last time he would experience Hogwarts in September as a student and suddenly slipped into a pensive sadness.
“Right, so let’s go over the people we’ve already invited,” Sirius began, snapping Remus out of his rut. “Aeryn and the band. I suppose we should invite the rest of the blokes in our year. The Gryffindors I mean! Don’t give me that look, Prongs, I’m not trying to have Slytherins at your party.” James scowled and threw a small tuft of grass at his best friend, who dodged it and continued. “I’ll take that as a yes. And the girls? Sorry, let me be clearer since you don’t seem to trust me. The Gryffindor girls.”
“Well if Aeryn’s going, you know she’s going to tell the rest of them without meaning to,” Peter sighed. “Women. They always do things in packs!”
“Right you are, Wormtail,” Sirius grinned and Remus tried to stifle his laughter. Even though he had a completely different love life than Peter and Sirius, he agreed with their observation wholeheartedly. “But if we invite them, we are going to run into one problem: Evans.”
“She can’t know of the party,” James immediately said, turning white as he wrung his hands. He began to ramble. “She can’t and the Prefects can’t. She will personally skin me alive if she gets wind of this. I am not responsible for anything. I am not involved. At all. Got it? I had no idea you lot were planning this because I was … writing Quidditch plays all day! Yeah, that’s right.”
“Calm down, James,” Remus laughed quietly as he placed a hand on his agitated friend, “we won’t invite Lily if you don’t want us to.” James swallowed and nodded, unclenching his fists; Remus gave him a small pat before returning to his original position. He understood James’ logic. If Lily did find out, she would be extremely angry. However, part of Remus knew she would be even angrier if she found out she had been left off the guest list purposely.
Lily Evans hated James Potter but deep down, she hated being left out even more.
“So no Evans,” Sirius said slowly as he looked at James and then panned his head to the rest of the group, “but the other Seventh Year Gryffindors will get cards. Now who’s next? Ravenclaws? Hufflepuffs? What do you say, Prongs?”
“Name every single person you want to invite so we can approve them but remember, no Prefects,” James warned.
“Fine,” Sirius growled. “We’ve already got a lot of the Hufflepuffs playing in the band. So I’d really only add Dorcas Meadows - oh and Geoffrey Wood from Gryffindor, I forgot about him, he's a Sixth Year - and Lizzie Richardson.” He waited until the rest of the boys nodded in approval and then continued as he counted off his fingers. “As for the Ravenclaws … William Upton, Jonathan Boot, Timothy McLaughlin, Henry Girgish, Marlene McKinnon, and Rose of course. Shit, I need another girl. Who else?”
“Well the only Seventh Year Ravenclaw I really know is Marianne Minot,” James said offhandedly and Remus tried to slow his rapidly beating heart. “I patrolled with her last night.”
He tried not to let his mind wander but the former Prefect couldn’t help but lustfully daydream about her small, petite body and elegant face. Ever since he had met Marianne in the Library during his Fifth Year, he’d been attracted to her. She was wealthy, half French, and unknowingly embodied the word ‘chic’. To Remus, she was perfect. Her green eyes, perfect cursive handwriting, and the cute way she scrunched her face when she didn’t understand an academic concept mesmerized him beyond belief. He was secretly in love with her and had been for two years.
“But you said it yourself Prongs, no Prefects,” Peter countered.
“Well yeah, but Padfoot says we need another girl,” James replied. “We got along pretty well when we patrolled. I don’t actually think she would be a problem. Right, Moony?”
“Huh?” Remus said, snapping out of his reverie. “Oh Marianne, right. She’s fine, she wouldn’t tell.” He swallowed and secretly clenched and unclenched his fists. Although he began to have feelings for Marianne during his Fifth Year, the other Marauders had no idea they existed. When they had first started studying together, the boys had teased him but when he blatantly lied and told them he didn’t care for her in that way, they let off.
Remus had tried to get his mind off Marianne by snogging other girls but the encounters never led to anything. He liked to tell himself that his lycanthropy stopped him from having a relationship but he knew it was because he could never date a girl and be in love with someone else at the same time. It wouldn’t be fair.
“See?” Sirius exclaimed. “That was easier than you thought it was going to be, wasn’t it? I’m not a complete wanker. I can be left to my own devices.” He winked at the rest of the group lightheartedly and then took the deck from his pocket. After shuffling out the correct amount, he placed the chosen cards into his white shirt pocket and the extras back into his black trousers.
“Right. I’ll pass out the cards while you lot find the right empty classroom for tonight. And Remus, I think you should be the one to give the card to Marianne. I don’t know her, James can’t be seen giving out invitations, and you’re the one she’s actually friends with. Here’s a card and the Map. Find Prongs and Wormtail after you’re done because Merlin knows they need your Charms skills to soundproof the venue. I’ll use my mirror to contact you lot when I’m done.”
“You cheeky monkey,” James said as he pinched Sirius’ cheek jokingly, “look at you taking charge.” Sirius tackled his best friend and soon, they resumed their wrestling match from the day before. Remus sighed once more and didn’t protest. Sirius was right; he was the only logical person to invite her. After storing his sweater in his leather messenger bag, he panned the Map for Marianne’s dot. She was heading for the Owlery.
“I’ll see you in a bit,” he muttered and left as Sirius slammed James into the willow. He could still hear Peter’s yelps and cheers as the boys continued to fight on the lawn as he made his way to the Castle. After shuffling up the many flights of stairs, Remus tucked around a corner and surveyed the Map while catching his breath. Marianne was just above him on the stairs and soon her dot entered the Owlery. He closed his eyes and took another deep breath to calm himself as he waited.
If his plan was going to work, she needed to be leaving when he was entering.
He counted to thirty in his head, hiked up the remaining stairs, and entered the room. The Seventh Year Ravenclaw was staring out the window with her back to him and he adored her from afar. Her cropped hair rustled in the soft wind and lightly touched the top of her white shirt that was tucked into her long black maxi skirt. Remus smiled. Marianne never wore any colors other than black, white, or grey.
“Remus!” she jumped after he knocked on the wooden doorframe next to him. “Merlin, you scared me!”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to,” he replied with a smile and held up the now blank parchment he had been using to track her. “I just wanted to write and send a letter to my parents.”
The lie felt heavy on his tongue but Remus pushed down his feelings, just like he did every time he saw her. When he first realized he was attracted to her, he agonized that she would notice and reject him; after all, he was just a poor English bloke and she was practically a veela. There was no way that she would want damaged goods like him when she had so many suitors pursuing her.
And so, he began to keep her at a distance and as he repressed his desire, the lying became easier. His web of dishonesty allowed him to remain good-natured and cordial towards her and she never let on that she knew of his real intentions. She began to ask him to study with her regularly after they finished patrolling the Castle together and he proceeded with caution. He kept her at an amicable distance, waving to her in the halls and socializing with her at parties, and reasoned that if he could not romantically be with her, friendship was enough to make him happy. However, his intense anguish towards the situation permeated his thoughts daily.
“Is your mother ill again?” she questioned as she picked up her skirt and climbed over the debris on the floor towards him.
“Sadly, yes,” Remus lied again. He looked down at the parchment in his hands and bit his lip. Although the Marauders often called his lycanthropy his “furry little problem”, Remus told others that he had to visit his sick mother once a month. No one ever questioned his alibi and often attributed his sickly disposition before the Full Moon to the physical manifestation of stress about his mother. “I’m going to visit her in a week.”
“I say this every time,” Marianne said with a soft smile as she touched his hand lightly, “but you are the best son she could ask for. You have the biggest heart.” Remus took a deep breath and returned her smile after running the corner of her playing card under his thumbnail.
“Thank you,” he graciously replied and slyly pulled the Jack of Diamonds out of his corduroys. “Listen, while I’ve got you here, I have something for you.” He flipped the card up between his fingers and she giggled softly as she plucked it out of his grasp. “It’s an invitation but I will warn you, it does come with some strings.”
“Uh oh,” she grinned as she inspected the card carefully, “this isn’t a Marauder prank is it? You may not be a Prefect anymore but I still am.”
“Well, sort of,” he said, scratching the back of his head unknowingly. “It’s not a prank, it’s a Marauder organized event. Sirius thought it would be a good idea to throw James an illegal party to cheer him up about being Head Boy. Sound logic, I know. Anyways, at 10 pm tonight, that card will show the location of the soirée. We would love for you to come but must ask you to keep the information to yourself if you decide not to attend. James doesn’t want Lily or any of the other Prefects to find out about this.”
“Well I see why,” Marianne laughed as she tucked the card into the waistline of her skirt. Remus tried not to let his eyes linger on the Jack and focused on her widening smile instead. “I’d love to come, I haven’t had a chance to let loose in awhile. And don’t worry, I won’t tell any of the others. You’re just going to have to calm people down when I enter and tell them I’m not there to get them in trouble.”
“I don’t think that will be a problem Marianne,” Remus smiled. “You are one of the most liked Prefects. And besides, a lot of your friends will be there if Sirius does his job right.”
“Well you weren’t a tyrant either! Everyone liked being caught by you because you were the reasonable one.” Remus let out a nervous chuckle and Marianne then softly placed her hand to her lips. “I’m sorry, I should stop talking about Prefect matters. It’s rude.”
“Yes, it is.” She then straightened her shirt and smiled broadly at him. “I’ve caused you enough distress. I’ll leave you alone to write your letter. See you at the party tonight, Remus.” With a swish of her skirt, she exited the Owlery and the heel of her sandals clacked against the stairs as she descended. Remus let out a huge sigh, stared down at the blank parchment in his hands and wondered if he could ever stop lying to the woman he desperately wanted.
Author’s Note: Woo, next chapter! I freaking love Remus/OC stories so I had a lot of fun plotting these two. I can tell you this now though: you're going to want to slap him silly in the future ... but I always feel that way during Remus/OC romances so I'm really not giving anything away.
The next chapter will be Sirius' POV!
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