Chapter 16 : Can't help myself but count the flaws
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The weeks had quickly passed and before I knew it, we were in the last week before Christmas. Usually I would be packed, eagerly awaiting the day that the Hogwarts Express came into the station but this year was clearly quite different. The usual elation for Christmas time had been replaced by a dread that filled my stomach entirely and I couldn’t shake it off. Myself and Lola where meant to be staying here for Christmas, whilst Pedro would go back home. Dumbledore believed it was the safest place for and if he thought so, then I believed it too. It was an adjustment of sorts, having to watch everyone pack for home whilst I sat around, twiddling my thumbs. I had nothing to do, not even homework. Being surrounded by Gryffindor’s daily had rubbed off on me, clearly.
Heading down to the common room, avoiding all the happy students who seemed to be determined to rub it in my face that I was not going home, I stormed into the room, which cleared almost entirely on my entrance and I took a seat on the sofa opposite the fire. Glaring into the flames, I tried not to think about home, about Christmas, about anything. I was doing my best to ignore everything around me that reminded me of the fact that everything had changed. Feeling a pair of eyes on me, I tried my hardest to ignore them but it got too much and I felt myself finally snap.
“Either talk to me or get the fuck away,” I was snarling but I didn’t care. I wasn’t in the mood for games or people in general. I heard the person laugh and I frowned, recognising the familiar laugh. Only Sirius Black would dare to bother me when I was in such a foul mood. I felt the sofa dip beside me and I waited for the onslaught of insults, either that or just the mindless babble he came out with everyday.
“You’re in a good mood.” I bit my tongue at his sarcasm. If I was going to bite his head off, I was going to wait for one of Sirius’ legendary ‘foot in mouth’ moments. “What’s got you all moody? The poor first years have been congregating outside the portrait, none of them brave enough to see if they will get to their dormitories without you breathing fire at them.”
“Considering this is the house that homes the ‘courageous’, I am quite surprised. Can’t you Gryffindor’s handle a snake?”
“Still classing yourself as a snake? I’d say you were more of a little lizard right now, I’d say we’ve had an effect on you. You haven’t blown up at me for around –“ he trailed off before he continued, “5 days now, it’s a record for sure.”
I didn’t even bother replying to his comment and continued the conversation. “What do you want?” I wasn’t in the mood to play games.
“Oh, nothing much, just to say I’ll miss your lovely personality over the Christmas holidays,” I found myself sighing once again. “Oh fine, I was here to say I hope you have a good time over Christmas. I know you have to stay here and I know you don’t want to but it’s for the best. Dumbledore knows what he’s doing.”
“I know,” My voice was small and tired, I felt like I was done with everything. The whole thing had left me feeling drained. “I know that, it’s just…” I stopped myself before I got too sentimental. Me and Lola being safe was more important than missing a silly dinner party and a whole bunch of presents. “I’ll be fine, I’ll have Lola, which is all that matters.”
“You’ll have Remus too, he’s staying here for Christmas.” I frowned at this but I bit my tongue. He usually went home over Christmas, no doubt because of the whole ‘werewolf’ problem but none of them knew that I knew he was a werewolf, it used to be leverage but now I guess it was just a piece of information. A piece of information that I was going to keep to myself, for now anyway.
“Well, that’ll be nice, company from someone other than my 14 year old sister will be a relief, I suppose.” I figured seeing as he was being nice with me, I should at least make an effort with him. “Where are you staying?” I actually had no idea where Sirius went when the holidays came about, not since he cut himself off from the Black family.
“I stay with the Potter’s now. James’ mum and dad took me in when I ran away.”Clearly the Potter’s were a lot nicer than their son was, in my opinion anyway. I was about to add to the conversation when I spotted first years looking our way, pointing and whispering.
“What are you lot gawking at?” They soon scarpered and all I could was Sirius’ laugh fill the empty common room.
“They won’t want to come back after Christmas if you carry on.” I shrugged and stood up, stretching out like a cat.
“I don’t care, the less of them, the better. I’m going for a walk, all these decorations,” I motioned to the red and gold tinsel, among other forms of decorations that littered the room, “are making me feel ill. I’ll see you at dinner” I gave Sirius a small, fake smile before I left the Gryffindor tower, glaring at the students that were all stood outside, talking in whispers.
The corridors were for the most part quiet but where there were students, they were talking in excited voices, mainly about what presents they wanted off their families. I hadn’t even got Lola anything, with everything going on, I had completely forgotten and there was no more time, not really. Distracted in my own thoughts, I didn’t see who I was walking into until it was too late. Bracing myself for a fall, I found myself in someone’s arms, who put me back onto my feet. Looking up, I froze as I saw it was Bas. I took a couple of steps backwards, just to give us some space in case a duel did happen, which was quite likely now. He looked slightly hurt at this but now wasn’t the time to worry about his feelings, not when i was more worried about my safety.
“Bas,” My voice was shaking but I came to the conclusion that if I was civil, he wouldn’t attack, at least not straight away anyway, giving me enough time to either run or fight back.
“Gisela,” The use of my full name was expected, even if it was a little hurtful. We stood staring at each other for a couple of minutes before I cleared my throat. I needed to get away and was just about to say my goodbyes when I heard my name being called behind me. Turning my head slightly, so that I didn’t leave myself vulnerable to Bas, I spotted Remus walking down the corridor, his pace fast considering he got to me and Bas in good time. He looked concerned but then again, he usually looked that way when I was around.
“Are you okay, Gisela?” I nodded and Remus and turned back to Bas, who was openly glaring at Remus.
“Bye Bas, have a good Christmas,” I nodded at Remus again and we began walking away until I felt a hand on my arm, which stopped me. Turning back around, I saw Bas looking at me, like he used to and I wanted there and then to tell him to stop it.
“Please,” I shook my head at his voice. I knew what he was asking, I knew what he wanted but I couldn’t do it. I was too far gone now, I knew too much to go back and be ignorant.
“I can’t so don’t ask me, please.” I was pleading with him and I saw him nod slightly and I knew then he understood why I couldn’t be with him, with them.
Smiling sadly at him, I turned away for the last time and carried on down the corridor with Remus by my side. We walked in silence, which I was grateful for, I was once again in no mood to talk. After a few minutes, I found myself being led into an empty classroom and being seated near the front of the class. Remus sat next me, his eyes fixed on my face. I felt vulnerable and I knew I would end up venting to Remus, I always did. I just couldn’t help myself.
“I hear you’re staying for Christmas,” It was a lame attempt to get the attention off me but it worked, sort of. Remus rolled his eyes, knowing what I had done but he answered anyway.
“Yeah, it’s my last year so I thought I would stay and make the most of it. Plus, I kind of figured you would need some company in the Gryffindor tower.”
“Yeah, who knows what I would to the younger ones if was on my own all holidays,” This got a laugh out of Remus and the tension in the room seemed to ease slightly. “Don’t you want to go home?”
“It doesn’t bother me, I’m happy at home and I’m happy here so I guess it doesn’t really matter,” His answer was vague and it was at that moment I had a suspicion that he was staying for more than the reason he had given me.
“What did Dumbledore promise you if you stayed? Or was it McGonagall bargaining with you?” His eyes went downcast almost immediately and I knew I had hit the nail on the head. It didn’t bother me that he had been asked to stay to keep an eye on me, I just wished he would tell me straight out. The Marauders seemed to forget that I was a big girl.
“He didn’t promise me anything, I offered actually,” I stared at him for a moment, taking in his words before nodding. He had offered to stay with me? He had seen every one of my bad moods, my aggressiveness yet he still offered to stay and keep me company. The boy was a strange one.
“Oh, I don’t know what to say. Thank you, I guess.” He nodded and once again, we were in silence. Avoiding all eye contact with the boy, tried to think of something to say but my mind was coming up blank.
“What was that, back there? If you don’t mind me asking,”
I sighed and I met Remus’ eyes. “It was nothing, I bumped into him, quite literally. And then you appeared. That’s all. He didn’t do anything, he didn’t try anything but I knew he wouldn’t.”
“And how did you know that? You don’t know what is going on in their heads, what they’ve been told about you and how to deal with you. You can’t trust them anymore.” Remus’ had become louder and I was startled slightly at the ferocity in his voice.
“Is Remus Lupin worried about my safety?” My attempt to ease the atmosphere was awful, I knew it but it seemed to work as Remus took a look at me, eyes slightly wide and he was quiet. I laughed a little and it wasn’t long before he joined in. “Sorry, I had to change the topic, I was scared you were going to eat me alive,”
“Sorry, I get a little passionate sometimes, especially about those I care about.” At this, my eyebrow raised and I watched Remus go red, “I mean, I-“
“Remus, I know what you meant,” He stopped fumbling his words and smiled a little, “You need to learn how to speak to girls because if you go through life talking like that, you’ll be alone for a very, long time.”
“Thanks, that’s information I just love to hear,” I laughed again and stood up and walked until I was in front of Remus, him having moved when he was raging earlier.
“I’m sorry but it’s true, you can’t go through life blushing every time a girl speaks to you,” I was level with his chest and I looked up at him, “You’re a catch, you just need to work on a couple of things.”
He nodded and I saw him gulp, his Adam’s apple bobbing slightly. Smirking a little, I cocked my head to the side. I decided to have a little fun, “Am I making you nervous, Remus?”
“Yes,” His answer was short and concise. He most likely saw there was no point denying it because I could tell he was lying with my eyes closed.
“And why’s that?”
I couldn’t stop what was coming out of my mouth. I was teasing the poor boy but for some reason, I couldn’t stop. He was cute when he was nervous. In fact, he was cute all the time, handsome even. It was something I had noticed since we first started Hogwarts. I might have been Slytherin but back then, it didn’t matter what house your crush was on because it was only a crush. But now, I was noticing it daily, maybe it was just because he was being nice to me or because my hormones were going crazy or maybe it's just because of the situation I was in, afterall, I wasn't myself these days. It didn’t matter though because it wasn’t going to stop anytime soon and now I had to spend all Christmas with him. It was something I was not looking forward too.
I'd rather have Black around.
Remus didn’t reply and I moved closer to him so our bodies were touching. I couldn’t stop my body, it was doing its own thing and it was only when I found myself leaning up to kiss him that I managed to stop myself. I backed away and I shook my head.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know what I’m doing, I shouldn’t be teasing you like that, it’s not fair on yo-“ I was cut off by the feeling of Remus’ lips on my own and I had no idea what to do.
Remus Lupin was kissing me and I hadn’t initiated it, not all of it anyway. I kissed back, involuntarily but I found that I didn’t mind it too much. When he backed off, my fingers went to my lips almost instantly and I looked up at Remus, who looked almost distraught.
I had never been told I was a bad kisser but maybe I was.
“I shouldn’t have done that, I need to go. Sorry,” Before I could stop him, Remus left the room and I was left standing there, feeling like an idiot.
It was another five minutes before I left the classroom and I hurried back up to the Gryffindor tower, storming through the common room and heading straight up the stairs, ignoring the calls of Sirius. Slamming the door behind me, I sat on my bed and I frowned at the bed covers, picking at the loose strands of cotton.
“Are you okay?”
“Fine,” I didn’t look at Lily as she spoke. I knew she was on her bed but I was hoping she got the message that I wanted to be on my own so I could be annoyed without an audience.
I was annoyed, in fact I was livid. How could he kiss me then leave? That wasn’t fair on me, I had backed away, stopped flirting with him then he kisses me and leaves like he had just kissed McGonagall! To say I was offended was an understatement,
“Have you and Remus had a fight? He came in looking like you do right now.”
“Well he shouldn’t,” I was mumbling but I knew Lily could hear me, “He has nothing to be angry about, I do!” Before Lily could ask me what I meant, I closed the curtain and put a silencing charm on it so I could shout without being heard.
The Christmas holidays were going to be some of the longest days in my life. I could just feel it.
A/N: So, this chapter was kind of a filler, to tide my mind over until i can get to some more action! Hope you enjoy!
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