Chapter 5 : Roll Over Beethoven
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You know my temperature’s risin’ and the jukebox blows a fuse
My hearts beatin’ rhythm
And my soul keeps on singin’ the blues
Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news
~ Roll Over Beethoven ~ Chuck Berry ~
“You see you don’t keep your columns neat enough so you get confused when you’re doing the calculations. The theory is there it’s just the organisation.” Remus took the quill from between my fingers and rewrote the problem, and my working out, much more neatly. I stared down at the parchment, blinking in surprise. “See, now I bet you can do it.” He handed me back the quill and I was shocked to discover he was right, and that I got the correct answer.
“Now I feel silly.” I stated, laughing. Remus smiled. He had been tutoring me every night after dinner for a week now, and I was already starting to get better marks in our homework.
“Don’t forget to seal the numbers.” He reminded me gently, and I took out my wand. This bit, I could do, as long as the numbers were right. I waved my wand and recited the incantation, “Numerus signum!” The figures jumped off the page, twisted, and became words- spelling ‘Wingardium Leviosa’.
“See the formulae for basic spells are easy to get to once you’ve done the maths right.” Remus pointed out mildly.
“Thanks!” We sat and grinned at each other for a moment, until the atmosphere seemed to shift somehow. I cleared my throat and looked down. “Remus, there’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you but I was, erm, a bit nervous.” I began. This was what Perry had told me to say, but I still felt foolish saying it.
“Yeah?” Remus sounded as anxious as I felt, but for some reason this made me feel a bit better.
“Will you- erm, I mean- would you like to-to come to Hogsmeade with me next week?” I stammered. I chanced a glance at him out the corner of my eye. He looked- well, his expression was unreadable. I held my breath.
“I’d love to.” He breathed, finally. “I was hoping you would ask.”
“You were?” I looked at him properly now.
“Well, I was too scared to ask you.” He admitted, with a nervous laugh. I smiled at him.
“I almost didn’t ask you for the same reason. I thought you were a Gryffindor?” I added, jokingly. The tense atmosphere lifted somewhat at that. He chuckled.
“I uh, don’t really have much luck with girls, so…” He shrugged. “Never mind. I’m looking forward to it.”
“Me too.” I squeaked. Perry was going to be so proud of me.
“Remus Lupin. I can’t believe it.” Frank kept saying, over and over again.
“Why?” I demanded, annoyed.
“Well, he’s a Gryffindor- and a Marauder. I don’t know, I guess you just don’t seem the type, Erin.” He said.
“The type,” I repeated. “There’s a type?”
“Well,” Now Frank looked extremely uncomfortable, “I mean, you’ve seen the kind of girls those guys date- the loud, kind of obvious ones.” Alice was giving Frank the evils, I was pleased to see. He did seem to know he’d put his foot in it though. “I suppose Lupin is the quieter one but… I don’t know. Are you sure?”
“What in Merlin’s name does that mean?” I cried.
“Those guys are sort of bad influences, that’s all.” He responded, looking like he wished he could Disapparate within Hogwarts’ grounds, but knowing he it was too late to back out of this conversation.
“Frank, Erin is more than capable of thinking for herself. And Remus wouldn’t hurt a fly, you know. Actually, I think all of them are nice guys. Just because you have some weird macho rivalry with them, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to choose a side.” Alice lectured her fiancé satisfactorily. I gave him a smug look as his blue eyes darted all over the place, obviously wanting to make his point somehow.
“I don’t have a macho rivalry with them! I just mean, well… after what happened this summer, Erin should be around her friends. Lupin is close to Black and Black- well, you know his family.”
“Sirius is different from them! You know that! He isn’t even a Slytherin!” Perry joined the fray.
“The Black family have always produced Dark wizards.” Frank finished with an awkward shrug. The three of us girls all looked at each other, horrified at this prejudice.
“You don’t know them.” I choked out finally. “And you certainly don’t know Remus. Frank, seeing as you insist on bringing up the summer, how about I tell you something? I have learnt what it’s really like to be terrified. And do you know what’s not terrifying? Going on a date with Remus Lupin. Or being friends with the Marauders. Life can scary- if you let it scare you.”
“Hear, hear.” Perry agreed. “Merlin, Frank, what’s gotten into you, anyway?”
I decided I’d had enough of this, and needed time alone to think, so I left the Ravenclaw Common Room where I’d broken the news to the others about my date with Remus and made my way down to the grounds. It was twilight, and the sun was setting behind the Forbidden Forest, casting orange and pink light all over the place, the shadows long and slim. It was beautiful, and I let myself take it in for once. There were too few moments where I got to see anything beautiful. I decided I’d have to make a point of catching the sunset more often. I made my way down to the lake and watched the Giant Squid’s tentacles breaking the smooth surface occasionally.
The thing that’d bothered me most about my argument with Frank hadn’t been what he’d said about Remus though- it was what he’d said about Sirius. Over the past couple of weeks, I’d gotten to know him, and though he was very temperamental mood-wise and could be quite arrogant at times, he was also a nice person. He didn’t like to talk about his family, but he did show some concern for his brother Regulus, who was in the year below and in Slytherin. He was loyal to his friends, and always gave you the feeling that no matter what you told him, he would understand. Frank didn’t know him at all- but this just told me the kind of adversity Sirius must face every single day. He had to be brave to face that- no wonder he was in Gryffindor.
Ironically, as I walked along the muddy edge of the lake, I ran into Lily Evans. She was facing out across the black expanse of water, and I noted that she had tears falling down her cheeks. I didn’t know whether to make my presence known, as it seemed as if she was having a personal moment. But before I could make up my mind, she noticed I was nearby.
“Hi,” She called, trying to smile, “Its Erin isn’t it?” I’d never really spoken to her properly- she usually had a group of Gryffindor girls surrounding her, or at the very least James Potter. This was, in fact, the first time I could remember seeing her on her own. I nodded in answer to her question and she smiled kindly. It was easy to see how James could like her so much-she seemed so sweet, and was very pretty with her long, dark red hair and bright green eyes. “Remus was just telling me that you’re going to Hogsmeade with him. I’m so glad- you seem like a nice girl, anyway. It’s about time he found someone.”
“Um,” I said, “Are you alright?”
“Me? I’m fine.” Lily tried to laugh, but instead more tears splashed down her cheeks. “No, I’ m not fine. I’ve just realised what a total idiot I am.”
“Um.” I said again, because I didn’t know what else to say.
“He’s spent all these years asking me out left right and centre but now- well, he hasn’t. Actually, he asked some girl in Hufflepuff out, and of course she said yes.” Lily choked, “I know I’ve got no right to be jealous or upset, because I was the one who was always turning him down but- I mean, James always liked me. Always. It’s weird now that he doesn’t anymore. I feel kind of lost. Do you know what I mean?”
“I- I guess so.” I stuttered. I thought I kind of did- but in so many ways, I didn’t. As far as I’d been able to tell from the outside, Lily despised James. She never hesitated in the earliest opportunity she got to hex him.
“I just… I suppose I thought that maybe this time, this year, if he asked me I might say yes.” This was surprising to me, so probably to the ears of a fellow Gryffindor it would’ve been downright astonishing. “You must’ve heard what happened down at the lake before summer with Sev- I mean, Snape. I was so angry with both of them that day but then I was thinking about it and- well, James never held a grudge for anything I did. And I’ve done some awful things to him- so of course he must really like me, or he would’ve been like a normal boy and forgotten all about me the first time I said no.”
I really had no clue what to say. All I knew was, my problems felt so ridiculously trivial now. I’d never had a boyfriend or anything even close. I’d never had a boy chasing me around like James did to Lily. I didn’t have all these conflicting emotions Lily Evans seemed to have. I couldn’t imagine ever feeling so confused. I couldn’t even really remember a time where I was seriously confused about anything- especially not about my feelings.
“I’m sorry, you probably couldn’t care less- well obviously, I mean you barely even know me and I’m just ranting on, but I can’t really talk to anyone about this stuff because they’ll just say ‘I told you so’ and I hate being wrong.” Lily told me. I laughed at that, and she looked surprised.
“I hate being wrong, too.” I explained. “Especially when you’ve had so much conviction beforehand, and then you have to backpedal.”
“Exactly.” Lily laughed through her tears.
“Lily, I’m going to be honest, I have no idea how I can help you. All I know is, James Potter definitely still likes you. I talk to Sirius and Remus enough to know that.”
“So why isn’t he- you know?” She looked uncomfortable with the notion of finishing her own sentence then.
“Maybe he wants to make you jealous.” It was highly plausible; he’d exhausted every other method of getting Lily’s interest.
“Oh.” Her emerald eyes widened in realisation. “Maybe. Oh, thanks, by the way. But please, don’t tell anyone any of this.”
“Not a soul.” I promised.
“Thanks, Erin. I’ll see you around.” She hurried back towards the castle. I blinked out at the lake and realised it was actually dark now. But, my chat with Lily had actually helped to make me feel better- my problems suddenly didn’t seem like problems at all.
A/N: I know it's been a little while, but I started another fic- check it if you want, it's called 'A Stitch In Time' and it's about a girl from Marauder's era who has an accident with a time turner which sends her into the future- to the time of the Order of the Phoenix and has to live at Grimmauld Place with her ex boyfriend, Sirius. Okay so that was a shameless advertisement, haha, obviously you don't have to read it. You don't have to review this either, but it would still be greatly appreciated!
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