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"Just yes, Padfoot."
"But... that's impossible."
"Actually, I think you'll find that it's extremely possible."
"Surely I would have noticed by now?"
"You're you, Sirius; you didn't notice that Peter had got a new toad until it jumped into your cauldron during Potions and exploded."
"Merlin, that was disgusting..."
"Tell me about it; it took me a week to get the smell toad guts out of my robes, not to mention that it took the whole of lunch to stop Peter from crying, and a further two days to get him to talk to you again."
"It wasn't my fault that the toad exploded! I mean, what kind of person carries around their bloody toad with them everywhere they go!"
"Peter does, Sirius, but that's beside the point. The point is the fact that you're denying your feelings, when actually they're right in front of you."
Sighing grumpily, Sirius plonked himself Remus' sofa, a frown set on his features. It was obvious that he was completely confused, a feeling that Remus knew that his friend hated. He liked to feel on top of things, and was almost never caught by surprise, something that Remus wasn't very good at.
"I hate it when you're right," grumbled Sirius, crossing his arms stubbornly and looking out of the nearest window and Remus couldn't hold back a smirk.
Sirius had been coming over to Remus' house for most of the holiday, wanting to get away from James' new found obsession with being Head Boy. Most of the time Sirius was all for trying to find ways to use his new found position to try and tempt Lily Evans into going on a date with him, but, for the very reason that Remus had just informed Sirius of, the usual wing man just wasn't up for it this year.
So, he had sent an owl to Remus, asking if he could come over and stay for a few hours while James went to Diagon Alley to buy new robes, claiming that he 'just needed a break', though from what exactly he hadn't been clear on.
This soon became a common thing, occurring at least twice a week, or whenever James was working on his studies, something which Sirius did not do unless he was forced to.
At first, Remus thought that this was the only reason as to why Sirius continued to visit him, and gladly accepted the company. Remus was used to being alone in his house, due to his parents working late and both of his friends being constantly busy. In the previous holidays, both Sirius and James had come over, but it was usually full of their quick-witted banters about Quidditch, girls and their egos, with Remus quietly refereeing their matches, and while he found these rather amusing, he did enjoy having his own one-on-one conversations.
But, after the first few weeks, he started to find that most of the conversations were revolving around one particular subject, one that didn't really involve Remus, but one that Sirius was very passionate about.
Her name was Lyra Blackwood.
"So, what're you going to do?"
Sirius looked over at him, his eyebrows raised in question. "What do you mean? What am I going to do about what?" Remus rolled his eyes.
"Don't act dumb, Padfoot; about Lyra. What are you going to do about her
"Oh. Right." Sirius rubbed the back of his neck nervously as his nose scrunched up in thought as his eyebrows furrowing together. It wasn't often that Sirius Black was stumped, and it was obvious that he didn't exactly enjoy it when he was. "I have no bloody idea. Merlin, this might be the first time I've blank on how to ask out a girl."
"Well, you've already asked her out a hundred times before. Surely this time shouldn't be so different - just try to say it with feeling
this time, instead of crude innuendos," offered Remus, leaning back on his seat.
Sirius snorted. "Sure, that'll
work," he said sarcastically. "Do you really think I can just go up and ask her out after all of the times before? I'll be lucky to get her to talk to me without insults or looks of disgust, let alone a positive response to asking her out." He shook his head. "No, it has to be something different; something more gradual. It's different now that I actually like
her. Before it was all just fun and games - which, by the way, I had been perfectly happy with until you
showed me my true bloody feelings. Thanks for that, by the way."
"What are friends for?" smirked Remus. "You know you shouldn't have come to me if you didn't want some sort of ingenious revelation."
"I forgot about your annoying resourcefulness," laughed Sirius. "But in all seriousness, what should I do? You know, for the more gradual thing?"
"I'm sorry; you're
for advice on dating
?" Remus raised an eyebrow. "I haven't even asked anyone on a date myself. Well, not since my fifth year, when you and Prongs made me ask out Lucy Gold to the Ball, which I still haven't fully forgiven you for, by the way."
"Lay off it, Mooney, we saw the two of you together - what's the phrase Evan's uses with Alice and Frank? - you were like two peas in a peach."
"It's in a pod, Padfoot."
"Are you sure? That doesn't sound right."
"Because peas being in a peach doesn't sound just a little
strange to you?"
"Fine - like peas in a pod, then. I'm surprised you didn't ask her out again."
"You know why," muttered Remus, looking away from him. An awkward silence fell over them as Sirius cleared his throat, obviously realising that he had crossed a line.
"I didn't mean dating advice," said Sirius, sitting up a little in his seat. "I just meant advice in general. You're the only one of us that can seem to hold a conversation with Evans or Warbeck, and obviously you’re keeping some sort of secret from us about talking to girls that we don’t know about.”
“You think that there’s some sort of trick to how I speak to them?” Remus asked, raising an eyebrow at him. “That I’m secretly trying to ‘hook up’ with them behind you and Prong’s back or something?”
“Well, you do read a lot of books – how do we know that they aren’t all about tips on how to pick up girls?”
Remus laughed, shaking his head at his friend. Of course, Sirius Black would think about the fact that some people read simply for the enjoyment of it, an enjoyment which did not
involve girls or dating in any shape or form.
“Okay, so obviously it’s nothing to do with that,
” sighed Sirius. “Then how do you do it?”
“You really want to know how?”
“It would be much appreciated, Mooney, yes.”
“I act like a decent
human being around them.”
Sirius frowned. “I act like a decent human being around Warbeck.”
“No, you act like a hormone crazed prat who’s only capable of talking in fluent innuendos,” corrected Remus.
“Ouch, Mooney,” said Sirius dramatically, clutching his chest. “You sure know how to hurt a bloke’s feelings.”
Remus rolled his eyes. “It had to be said, I’m afraid. Whenever you two are around other people you act completely normal, but when you get near Lyra or Lily, it’s almost like you lost the ability to be good people.
Sirius huffed and leant back on his seat, looking away from him stubbornly as he crossed his arms over his chest. Someone like Sirius wasn’t used to being told that he wasn’t good at something, and wasn’t one to endure it well when someone informed him that he wasn’t spectacular at everything. Still, Remus was also one of the few people that could get away with telling him that.
“It’s not like I do it on purpose, you know,” muttered Sirius, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “I mean, maybe I did when I was thirteen, but I did actually mature somewhat as I got older. It’s just… There’s something about Warbeck that puts a mental block in my brain on all intelligent thoughts.”
“I wouldn’t feel too bad, Padfoot; I think Prongs has the same thing with Lily.”
Sirius chuckled. “He does turn into a right twat around her.”
A short silence followed, filled only with the sound of the ticking of the clock hanging on the wall. Remus’ mother had bought it three years ago when they went on holiday to Italy; she kept complaining about the fact that they never had any souvenirs to remember their holidays with. So, in his frustration at both the hot weather and the lack of being able to find a restaurant, his father had bought a clock from the closest stall that he could find. “There, happy?” he had said. They then proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon fighting, though over what Remus didn’t know, and didn’t talk until the next morning. They hadn’t been on holiday since.
“Moony? Moony, you still with us?”
Remus looked over at Sirius, snapping out of his memory. “Sorry, Sirius,” he said, rubbing his eyes. “What were you saying?”
“I said I think I need to get going,” said Sirius, motioning over to the clock. He hadn’t realised that they’d spent nearly two hours talking. “James is expecting me to be going over some of the new tactics for Quidditch this year, and you know how he gets about Quidditch.”
Remus nodded and stood up, helping Sirius up also. They walked over to the front door and Remus pulled it open for him, stepping aside so he could walk out. “You know you can talk to me anytime, right?” he said as Sirius stepped out onto the outside patio. “I mean, I know that I can be pretty clueless when it comes to dating, but I can still listen and nod at the right words.”
Sirius gave a short laugh and smiled gratefully. “Thanks, Moony,” he said. “And the same goes for you.”
He clapped him on the back and walked down to the end of the path, turning the corner and disappearing out of view. Remus hesitated for a second, before pushing the door shut just as the sound of clunky footsteps echoed through the hallway. Frowning, he turned and walked to the living room, finding his mother standing there in her work clothes, brushing off the ash from using Floo Powder.
“Oh, there you are, Remus,” she said, looking up and smiling at him. “Who was that at the door?”
“Just Sirius,” said Remus, leaning against the wall. “He came over earlier to talk to me.”
“Is everything alright?” his mother asked, frowning in concern.
“Yeah, just had something on his mind,” he shrugged.
“It’s nothing to do with his family, is it?” Remus shook his head. Although James’ parents had been much more involved in helping Sirius out when he was kicked out of his house and disowned, Remus’ mother had spent a week cooking meals for him when Mr and Mrs Potter had gone on an Auror mission; apparently James wasn’t even aware that they owned
“Just normal, teenage stuff.” His mother nodded and dropped her bags on the sofa, sighing as she sat down next to them. As Remus looked down at her, he couldn’t help but notice the tired and almost defeated look in her eyes, the slumped form and creased clothes. He was used to seeing her as alert with a newly ironed uniform from the night before, not the exhausted person before him.
It wasn’t just a sudden change in her mood, though; over the past few weeks, she slowly became less active, as if her personality was gradually slipping away from her. There were days when she was late for work and then didn’t return home until midnight, which was still earlier then when his father came home. There was something going on with his parents, but for the life of him, he couldn’t figure out what.
“I’m thinking of ordering in tonight,” said his mother, snapping Remus out of his thoughts. “Do you want Pizza or Chinese?”
A/N: Sorry for the long wait! I've had a lot going on at the moment, what with personal stuff and having a minor fan-freak out over 'Perks' coming out on DVD and then proceeded to have a writer's block for how to finish this chapter. In the end, I decided to go with a small bit about Remus' parents instead. Hopefully I managed to peak your interest ; ) Please R/R, it would be much appreciated!