Chapter 12 : Little Loopy Lupin
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Chapter 12: Little Loopy Lupin
I sat in the Library with Amber and I turned my head, as I heard the roar of abrupt cheers and screaming at the Quidditch Pitch. It was Hufflepuff versus Gryffindor and I decided not to go to avoid seeing Victoire. I shook my head and returned to the Potion’s Theory book that I was skimming through. Slughorn had recommended it for his N.E.W.T. students that were ‘serious’ about getting an Outstanding in Potions. So far, it has been boring the socks right off my feet and it seems like information that I could have figured out on my own.
I slammed it shut as more cheers erupted from the field and groaned.
“Just go Lupin!” Amber shouted at me, without looking up from her essay she was finishing.
I jumped and turned to her, with an unreadable expression on my face. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
The scratch of her quill came to a sudden stop and she turned to glare at me. “Go and check on the game. I honestly didn’t expect you to be here today anyways with Gryffindor playing and all, not that your sudden change toward studying isn’t amazing, I just didn’t expect it to last after break.”
“With N.E.W.T.s coming up-” I started to give her my rehearsed spill about studying.
“Cut the crap, Lupin. You and I both know that’s not what this is about.” She started writing again. As she continued scribbling she mumbled. Although her mumbling seemed to be directed at no one in particular, I knew it was meant for me. “His hair is practically black now…who would have thought that I preferred his blue hair to this! And he’s studying! If he beats me on one more test…”
I was silent for a moment and then opened my book again, determined to read this thing even if it was the death of me.
I saw her stop writing and set her quill down. I looked up to see her staring at me. “What?”
“Not that I don’t enjoy our little studying time together, Lupin. But don’t you think that it would be better to just talk things over with your little girlfriend?” Amber said in the most monotone and indifferent voice that she could muster.
“I don’t have a girlfriend.” I told her.
“Lupin, you can call it whatever you want, but you can’t tell me that there isn’t something there between you and your little friend Victoire…” My eyes flashed and Amber grinned. “Just go apologize already, so I can get you out of my hair. I spend enough time with you as it is.”
“Victoire and I are not dating.” I nearly yelled at her.
“Someone’s being a bit defensive…” Amber chuckled.
“Someone’s being a bit of a bitch.” I retorted.
“Child.” She merely stated, continuing her essay.
I hated this. I was studying on a Saturday with someone who, quite possible, hated my guts. And she was giving me dating advice. The world must be ending soon.
I picked at the cover, pilling off my Potions book and turned to Amber.
“Is it that obvious that we are – were dating?” I corrected with a ping of guilt.
She looked up again and shrugged. “Personally, I think that you would have to be an idiot not to see it.”
“Well, congratulations to you Miss Ravenclaw.” I said sarcastically.
“I can’t be the only one to notice.” She looked at me now, officially pushing her essay aside to talk.
I shrugged. “Recently I fell like everyone knows…my Godfather and his wife talked to me about ‘girl problems,’ and Sirius – my brother’s friend – even tried to give me advice on the matter.”
“I didn’t know you had a brother.” Amber said.
“Well, he’s not my brother. He’s the closest thing I’ve got though.” I said fondly. “It’s the Potter family, they practically raised me, you know.”
Amber nodded. “Is that how you got to know Victoire? She’s a cousin, if I’m not mistaken.”
“Yeah, I’ve pretty much known her since she was born.” I said quietly. “She was never family to me. The rest of them kind of fit the bill, but Victoire…I kind of always liked her. Before I even knew what that was. She was my best friend before I started at Hogwarts. I wrote her almost every day during my first year.”
“That’s kind of sweet.” Amber smirked at me. I glared; she was clearly enjoying this way too much. When she saw me glare she glared back. “Go on, Lupin. I don’t have all day.”
I was slightly taken aback by Amber’s change in attitude toward me. She typically, avoided talking about anything so personal with me – or anyone for that matter.
“Well, one thing led to another and we started dating my fourth year.” I said.
“Fourth year?” Amber cut me off. “That long?”
I glared. “Yes, I thought only an idiot wouldn’t see it?”
She rolled her eyes. “Sorry to be the one that informs you of this Lupin, but my world doesn’t revolve around you, unlike the majority of the girls at this school. I honestly didn’t start paying any attention to you until we were in the same classes together and had Prefect duties during the same time.”
“Damn, not all the girls like me here.” I sighed. “Shocker.”
“So, what happen recently that forced you to study with me now?” She got straight to the point.
I crossed my arms. “Her friend kissed me at the party after the Gryffindor versus Slytherin Quidditch match.”
She nodded. “That would do it. I understand.”
“Wa-wait! You do?” I asked amazed.
“She’s not necessarily mad at you, but she became insecure about your relationship not being out in the open.” Amber told me.
“No…I’m pretty sure she’s mad at me.” I informed her. “That’s what it sounded like when we broke up and we haven’t talked without yelling since.”
“Look, what were the terms of the break-up?” Amber acted like she was talking to a child.
“Terms?” I asked confused.
“How did it end?” She said slowly.
“She said she wanted to tell our families and friends.”
“And you said?”
“You’re an ass Lupin.” Amber said grabbing her essay. “Go tell Victoire you’re sorry.”
“For being an insensitive jerk.” Amber told me.
“In my defense, I didn’t say it like that.” I told her.
“Really? How did you say it then?” She asked not looking up from her essay.
“I said I wasn’t ready to tell our families, yet and I didn’t want to tell our friends, in case it got back to them…” I tried to explain.
Amber looked up briefly. “All I’m hearing is ‘I’m an insensitive jerk.’”
“Look, quite honestly, it’s her Father.” I said, not making my point any better.
“Lupin, are you openly telling me that you’re scared of her Dad?” Amber almost laughed at me.
“No, of course not. Okay, maybe a little, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make!” I paused for a moment and she looked back up, pushing her essay away again.
“Her Father and Uncles once joked about us dating, saying that it would end badly and that I wouldn’t see the family anymore.” I said. “I mean, Harry would never officially boot me out, but at the time Victoire and I just started dating. It kind of got me thinking, if we did break up I would be the one that got kicked out of the family. I mean it’s not like I’m related to any of them. They can’t exactly ignore Victoire, but me…” I paused and then looked up at Amber. “I don’t have a Mother or Father, they died during the war. I have my Grandmother, Godfather and the Weasley’s…and if I lose them, I’ll have nothing.”
Amber opened her mouth to say something, but then closed it.
“I love Victoire, but I don’t have an official family. I don’t want to lose what I do have. I don’t want to lose her either. I just don’t know what to do anymore…” I confessed.
Amber sat there with me in thought for a moment and then finally spoke up. “I think you have to decide then. If you are going to treat her as family – or if you are going to be with her as more than that…You’ll have to decide how much she means to you and if she is worth taking that risk – and soon by the looks of it.”
I looked back at Amber. “You’re right.”
“Of course I’m right.” She glared. “You say it like you’re surprised.”
“No…it’s just, the only other person I talked to about this was Sirius and he said something similar.”
“Sounds like a smart kid.” Amber nodded in approval.
I nodded. “Thank you Amber.”
“You’re welcome Teddy.” She turned back to her essay.
I smiled a bit, for the first time in a while.
“You know, it was kind of nice talking to you about this.” I told her grinning.
“Don’t get use to it, Lupin.” She glared up from her essay. “It probably won’t happen again.”
“I don’t know, I feel like we’ve finally become best friends.” I told her. “It only took you seven years.”
“Six and a half.” She corrected.
“Whatever, you say Amber.” I smirked.
She glanced up and smirked back. “Your hair is blue again.”
My hand flew up to it. “Is it really?”
“Yeah.” She frowned. “Is it sad that I actually define your hair as abnormal if it’s a normal color?”
“No, it just means that you finally got use to my quirky side.” I told her.
“Please, Teddy. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” She returned to her essay once more. “Besides, that will never happen.”
We both laughed, for the first time since we got to know each other and I felt more resolved than before. I had a plan, at least that’s what I told myself. For the next half hour I was practicing silent charms instead of studying, which drove Amber nuts, but she seemed glad that I was back to normal for the most part.
Rory finally joined us after the game seemed to end.
“Teddy, why weren’t you at the game?” He asked.
“Amber and I had a date.” I said automatically.
“In your dreams Teddy.” She said without looking up from the Potions book I now left abandoned.
“See you there, sweetie.” I winked.
She did a rather unfriendly gesture that Rory and I laughed at. I turned to Rory.
“Who won?” I asked eagerly.
“If that’s the first thing you are going to ask me than you should have just gone to the game.” Rory scolded me.
“Come on Rory!” I begged.
“Well, technically no one won…”
“What?” I asked.
Even Amber looked up now. She wasn’t as interested in Quidditch, but Rory’s tone did have something interesting about it.
He ruffled his hair. “It was a tie.”
“How is that possible?” Amber asked.
“Well Hufflepuff caught the Snitch, but the Gryffindor Chasers were making goals like crazy again. I don’t know what Ashley has been doing, but she’s clearly doing it right.” Rory said. He seemed about as confused as I felt.
“Was she mad? She’s supposed to meet us here before the Gryffindor party.” I asked.
“I’m not too sure.” Rory said uncertain. “She seemed to get off the field pretty quick. The new Chaser-”
“Davison?” I asked. He was amazing in the last game. I watched him almost the whole time; there was something familiar about his flying style. Maybe he got a professional couch over the summer.
“Yeah, him. He left the Pitch pretty quick after he made the last goal. The whole Gryffindor team did for that matter, except Cooper. He was rushed to the Hospital Wing.” Rory shrugged. “I guess we’ll find out in a few minutes.”
Almost an hour later Ashley came marching into the Library glaring at me. Rory and I were now practice silent spells together and Amber even joined in, every now and then.
“Where have you been?” She screamed at me. I jumped back falling out of my chair.
“Ashley! This is the Library. You’re going to get us kicked out!” Amber said standing up, trying to hush her.
“You think this is funny! Don’t you Lupin!” Ashley shrieked at me.
“I have no idea what you are going on about.” I said looking up at her from my spot on the floor.“Is this because I wasn’t at the game today?” I ventured a guess.
“You weren’t at the game today?”
“Ashley, he had to help me on my Transfiguration essay.” Amber saved me. I gave her a grateful look, but sadly that didn’t stop Ashley.
“I know you had something to do with this!” Ashley shouted at me grabbing me by my collar, pulling me up to her level – she was way too strong for her own good, or mine. “Are you trying to make Gryffindor lose the Cup?”
“Ashley!” Amber shrieked. “He’s Head Boy! You can’t do that.”
“I can when he’s messing with my Team!”
“Ashley, what the bloody hell are you talking about?” I said trying to get away from her.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about Teddy Lupin!” Ashley pulled me closer. “Don’t pretend not to.”
“Well…” I racked my brain for things that could possible set her off. “I’m assuming this is about Quidditch?” I said it like a question.
Ashley nodded, with a murderous look in her eyes.
“Umm…That’s all I really got Ash…” I mumbled.
“Ashley! Teddy has been with me the whole day. Whatever you think he did, he didn’t do it.” Amber rushed around the table and pulled Ashley off of me.
Ashley seemed to calm down a little. She turned to me. “You really don’t know?”
I nodded, inching away from her as much as I could.
She nodded. “Then maybe you can at least tell me where James is.”
“What does James have to do with this?” I asked getting a bad feeling. If I learned anything from the past eleven years at the Potters – if James was involved then it wasn’t going to end well.
Ashley glared. “I would like to speak to him.”
“About what?” I asked, concerned for James’ well being if Ashley got a hold of him right now.
“About what happened during today’s game…”
“What does James have to do with today’s game?” Rory asked. “You’re team was perfect, other than Cooper of course, but you can’t blame that on James.”
“I would like to talk to him about Davison.” Ashley sneered.
What would James and Davison have to do with Ashley’s bad mood? That’s when something clicked in my head. Davison’s flying style, I’ve seen it before…
“NO!” I shouted.
Ashley, Amber and Rory all looked at me. Ashley raised an eyebrow.
“I’m going to go have a word with James…” I turned on my heels and left the three of them. As I exited the library enraged at James, I realized that I had no idea where he would be or where to start looking. I kicked the wall and regretted it at once. I cussed with my foot now throbbing in pain.
I use to know James’ movements like my own. But since he came to Hogwarts I hadn’t really paid any attention to him. I didn’t know hardly anything about his classes, or his friends for that matter, that is except for Sirius, but I didn’t know anything else about James’ year thus far. I had been too wrapped up in my own problems to even worry about him.
I sighed and leaned against the wall. I was a horrid brother to him. Whatever trouble he was in I should have seen coming – that is before Ashley figured it out.
I didn’t know what to do. That was until I saw Sirius climbing out from behind a secret passage and running up the stairs.
Okay, maybe I wasn’t the best friend or brother to James, but I did know that Sirius was a good friend to James. That kid stuck to James like a Permanent Sticking Spell and if anyone knew where James was hiding – if anyone knew how James pulled off pretending to be Davison – it was Sirius.
My eyes narrowed as Sirius disappeared up the stairs.
Well, here I go.
I ran up the stairs after Sirius and nearly lost him, but saw him dash into a broom cupboard behind a curtain. I heard voices before I even reached the door and decided to snoop a little bit before I confront James of anything.
“…It’s over Sirius!” I heard James’ voice from behind the door.
“James, you tied. Yeah, that’s not ideal, but beat Ravenclaw and-” Sirius was cut off by James.
“Not that! The Polyjuice Potion wore off in front of the whole team! They know it was me!”
Sirius was silent for a moment after James’ outburst.
Polyjuice Potion? How did James get his hands on that?
“Look, James…maybe this is for the best, it was kind of getting out of hand anyways.” Sirius said trying to calm him down.
“Sirius…I could get expelled for this.” James stressed. “Gryffindor could get disqualified. Lots of stuff could happen, because of this.”
I had enough. I opened the door and both James and Sirius looked like they were going to jump out of their skins. They both gave me guilty looks as I shut the door behind me. I then took out my wand and waved it across the door. “Muffliato.”
I turned back to them.
“I just had an interesting chat with one Ashley Pewitt.”
James looked down at his shoes and began to mumble something. Sirius’ expression changed to an all-knowing sort of look. He seemed to have a fond yet sad emotion in his eyes. He quickly shook it away and leaned against the wall, giving me a full view of James.
This was the first time I looked at him in a while, and I mean really looked at him. He was fully dressed in Quiddtich robes, scarlet and gold. His hair was tussled in every direction and he looked more like a child than ever. That is what really surprised me.
To me, James had never really been a child in my eyes. Him and Albus were just a year apart and it seemed that James took it upon himself to look after Al. He always had an older brother feel about him that I always respected. He never tried to lean on others too much – not that he didn’t get in trouble – he just always seemed to keep his cool and not worry. I had never seen him like this. A child that didn’t know how deep he was in or what to do now that everything blew up in his face. This James Potter needed my help.
“James, everything is going to be okay.” The words slipped out before I knew what I was saying. Sirius grinned and nodded in approval. James looked up at me with his big hazel eyes. “Tell me everything that happened, from the beginning to now.” I took a deep breath. “Then we’ll go talk to Ashley together.”
“Teddy? Are you sure this is a good idea?” James asked once more as we reached the library door. He was still wearing his Quidditch attire and Sirius had his bag. I asked Sirius to go back to the dorms, but Sirius and James for that matter, insisted that he came along.
“No, but it’s the only way now.” I told him. During his story I couldn’t help, but be impressed by his idea. Though it was foolish and childish, the fact that a first year came up with it was remarkable, even though I was worried about the future trouble he would cause at school. I suppose it’s a good thing that I’m out of Hogwarts this year. He’ll be Victoire’s problem next year.
Thinking about Victoire wasn’t as bad as it once was, but I did feel a little ping of guilt again. I buried it deep within me and opened the door.
James grabbed onto my robe and peaked around it. What was he expecting? Ashley to jump out at us? I wouldn’t put it past her, but still.
I went back to the table I was at before and saw that Ashley had taken my seat, with Rory and Amber, who was attempting to study.
Rory was talking when we came within distance.
“Did you read this morning’s paper about the Dementor attacks?” Rory said in a bored voice. “Apparently the Ministry-”
Ashley’s head snapped to me approaching the table. Rory followed her glaze and Amber smirked without looking up from my book.
“Teddy, this book is completely boring.” Amber was the first to talk.
“Well, I’m glad we agree on something.” I told her, thankful for her breaking the ice. “I think Slughorn just recommended it because one of his students wrote it.”
“Did he really?” Amber shut the book and looked up. “Well that makes sense.”
“Where’s James?” Ashley said looking at Sirius menacingly.
James let go of my robe and came into view. “I’m right here Ashley.”
She glared. “I don’t think we’ve met, but you are addressing me by my first name?”
“You told me too.” James glared back, apparently gaining some courage.
“I told Eric Davison to call me by my first name. Not you.” She stressed the last part.
“Considering I was him at the time, I see no difference.” James gave her a smirk. I recognized this attitude. It was the same tactic he used when he argued with Dominique. I wish he would try a different strategy. Dominique normally punched him to end the argument.
Ashley looked like she was torn, between punching him and actually liking him. Maybe James knew what he was doing; he had spent a lot of time with her this year. Perhaps he knew what he was doing after all.
“How did you look like him?” Amber chimed in.
James looked to her now and clearly recognized her from his one encounter. He frowned and seemed at a lost for how he should handle this question.
“Polyjuice Potion.” He ended up saying quietly.
Amber’s eyes became wide. “To…play Quidditch?” She said in disbelief.
“I couldn’t join if I was a first year, now could I?” He snapped like it was the most important thing in the world. To James, it probably was at the time.
“You could have ask-” Amber began but Ashley cut him off.
“He did…”Ashley interrupted.
I looked at her, wondering when James had gone behind my back to Ashley. Amber shook her head.
“How did you get your hands on enough Polyjuice Potion?” Amber asked.
Both Rory and Ashley looked at James now and even I inclined my head toward him. He left this part out of his story. I’m assuming, because this was the part that he could get in trouble. With me being the Head Boy this year, I can somewhat understand him leaving that out.
James looked at his shoes. I’ve known him long enough to know that he only did this when he was about to lie or didn’t want to tell the truth, typically at the same time.
“I made it.” He lied.
Amber scoffed and Ashley and Rory looked at her.
“What?” She asked them. “You don’t honestly think that he made it. Nothing personal James, but that Potion is very advanced. Witches and Wizards who have passed their N.E.W.T.s with Outstandings even have problems with that Potion. I’m having a hard time believing that you pulled it off in time for tryouts.”
“My Aunt did it her second year!” James reflected, knowing full well that his lie was seen through. Only question was why did he lie. There are ways to get your hands on the Polyjuice Potion for a reasonable price. Although the amount he has is worrisome and told he that he might have stolen it.
“You’re Aunt was Hermione Granger, if I’m not mistaken.” She wasn’t, of course. She once told me she inspired to be as talented as her. “Hermione was in a league of her own. Talented in many ways and I doubt she makes a habit of teaching her nephew how to make Polyjuice Potion. No offence kid, but you need a better lie if you’re going to fool me.” She then turned to me. “How did he get his hands on it, Teddy?”
“I don’t know.” I looked at James, now frowning.
“Well, how are we going to explain this to McGonagall then?” Amber asked and James froze. “I assume he stole it from Slughorn.” Amber said suddenly. “If we ask him, he might be able to tell us that there is some missing. That is the only thing I can think of.”
“Amber!” Ashley finally chimed in. “He could get expelled for that!”
“You have a problem with that Pewitt?” Amber glared. “A moment ago you told me you were going to strangle him with his own broom – even though that isn’t possible.”
“I’m not about to give up a good Chaser just because of a little mishap.” Ashley glared back. “Not before the Ravenclaw match anyways.”
“You seriously think that Quidditch is more important than the rules?” Amber asked. I was wondering if she was really intending on expelling James. Or if she was just trying to sort everything out.
“Yes!” Ashley nodded. I rolled my eyes at her. Of course, she was never really mad at James. She would still want him on the team, even though he was breaking the rules to be on it.
“You’ll still let me play?” James nearly shouted with excitement. I think if he wasn’t close to being expelled he might have hugged her.
“Hush, James! I’m settling this.” Ashley flashed a quick wink toward James. James smiled.
“Fine! I still want to know how he got his hands on that Polyjuice Potion!” Amber snapped her head at James. “We have to take precautions to make sure this nonsense doesn’t happen again.”
James’ smile on his face dropped to a worried expression. “I-I…umm…”
He looked down at his shoes again. Merlin, James! What did you do? James suddenly looked up with a determined look on his face.
“I made it.”
This time the voice was confident and unwavering. It had an air of truth to it, but something was missing. I couldn’t tell if it was the truth or a lie, mainly because it didn’t come from James, but instead Sirius.
Sirius now stepped forward and looked Amber in the eyes, unmoving. He had been silent the since we entered the Library. At first I thought it was because he might have been scared of Ashley or even Amber, but now I wondered if it was because he was taking in everything and forting Amber’s plans to bombard James.
Amber seemed taken aback, finding it hard to believe that this first year could also brew the Potion at hand, but thrown off by his pure confidences.
“You?” Amber said gaining her voice finally. “And what makes you any more capable than-”
“My name is Sirius Lee. Surely you heard I dueled with Lowsley at the beginning of the year and won.” Sirius said unshaken. “I’m a first year, as well.”
Amber took this in for a moment. She obviously did hear the rumors of Sirius, but still didn’t believe him. “I heard, but how is that suppose to make me believe-”
“Did you hear that I’m a relative of McGonagall?” Sirius asked cutting her off again. Amber froze. “She handled a good portion of my education growing up, due to my parents being indisposed and unable to. She gave me many advance lessons and one of the many was on brewing Potions. I naturally, tried my skills at more advanced ones and when James told me his plan, I volunteered to brew it for him.”
Rory and Ashley nodded, but I looked at Amber. She wasn’t moving and she had a fixed gaze upon Sirius and Sirius’ gaze upon her. Both seemed to be waiting for the other to blink or falter. Amber spoke very slowly after that.
“Is that true?” Amber directed her question to James, moving her eyes off of Sirius and back onto James.
James nodded slowly, looking at Sirius the whole time with an unreadable expression; not speaking.
“He was trying to protect me, that’s why he lied.” Sirius said, claiming her attention again.
“Very well, I won’t say anything then.” Amber turned to Ashley. “I trust you will take care explaining this to Professor Longbottom and McGonagall.”
Ashley groaned. “Yeah…I’ll think of something.”
“So…I’m still on the team?” James asked unsure.
Ashley turned to him. “Practice tomorrow at six, we’ll give a quick explanation to the rest of the team and tell them to clamp up before the Ravenclaw match. I don’t want this getting out.” She turned to Rory and Amber. “You hear that you two?”
Rory and Amber nodded, clearly not wanting to get on her bad side.
“Thank you.” James smiled.
“Get out of here, the after party will start soon. I already told the team to act like Davison’s in the spotlight still.” Ashley waved for James and Sirius to leave.
Both of them ran off and I watched as they disappeared around the corner.
“That was kind of sweet how James was covering for his friend.” Ashley nodded after them.
I sat by her, now that she seemed calm and not as murderous as she previously was. Amber had gone back to looking at my Potions book and Rory was writing his essay.
“Yeah…it was.” I said in agreement with her.
Only thing was, I didn’t think James was covering for Sirius. It was actually the other way around.
I sighed. Looks like James didn’t need me to protect him anymore. I was useless against Amber and Ashley today. James had stood up for himself and the one to protect him wasn’t me, but Sirius.
I grinned to myself. Looks like I didn’t have to worry about James as much as I thought.
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