Chapter 6 : Freak Out
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Try to tell me what I shouldn’t do
You should know by now I won’t listen to you
Walk around with my hands up the air
‘Cause I don’t care
~ Freak Out ~ Avril Lavigne ~
“Okay Sirius, your moment of truth has come.” I told him as we sat chatting in Ancient Runes. Although we’d been set questions, our teacher in this class was lenient so wasn’t too fussed if we talked, as long as we weren’t all too loud.
“Yeah?” He grinned.
“I need your help; what in the name of Merlin do I do on this date?” It was, in fact, in two days’ time at this point, and I decided that it was high time I found out.
“You look pretty, talk, make out,” Sirius listed, but I hit him with a three foot long roll of parchment lying on the desk between us. He laughed, “Alright. Look, Moony is as clueless as you are, so just relax and go with the flow and you’ll be fine.”
“So that’s the grand advice I get from Sirius Black, who is supposedly so experienced in the romance department?” I asked. “Go with the flow.”
“Well, you meet him every day so he can tutor you on Arithmency. What do you talk about then?” Sirius rolled his eyes, which otherwise looked darker than normal.
“Arithmency.” I replied, obviously.
“What? That’s it?”
“Well, sometimes we talk about other things but… yeah, mainly Arithmency. I am actually failing that class. It’s not all some big ploy to spend time with him.” Well, it had been, but in all honesty it really was a big help. And of course, we did talk about other things too, but I couldn’t think off the top of my head. It depended on the day- was I supposed to keep track of every conversation I had with Remus? I mean, in between the long awkward silences, we said quite a lot.
“Hmm.” Sirius looked thoughtful. “Then no, I can’t help you much more than that. Sorry.” I sighed at this. “Why don’t you ask Perry?”
“I can’t get a sensible word out of the girl since you agreed to go to Hogsmeade with her.” I informed him. “Merlin, you couldn’t leave my friend alone, could you?”
“With those legs? No chance. Was she always blonde, by the way?” He added.
“No. She’s actually ginger.” I admitted. “That’s probably why you didn’t notice her.”
“The only redhead I ever noticed was Evans- oh and the occasional Weasley relative.” I shook my head disapprovingly at him. “What?”
“Sirius, I like you, but if you mess with Perry I will use a Severing Charm on your balls.”
“Relax. Although knowing her she’d be able to do that by herself.” He wasn’t wrong.
The morning of the Hogsmeade trip arrived and I was freaking out. I couldn’t get over how plain I was- my brown, not quite wavy not quite straight hair wouldn’t do much, my unremarkable brown eyes looked dull from lack of sleep (I was too nervous to sleep well) and none of my clothes helped. In the end, I was wearing one of Perry’s knitted dresses, but I still wasn’t happy.
“You look lovely.” Alice reassured me about twelve times.
“I don’t know.” I said, yet again. “Is green really my colour?”
“You’ve got the kind of complexion that suits any colour, Erin. Now, please, I’m starving.” Perry grabbed my wrist and began dragging me out of our dormitory. I kept trying to turn back to the mirror, but Alice had joined in and was shoving me from behind.
“You two are the worst friends in the world.” I announced as they opened the door of the common room out onto the corridor. Before I could continue on my tirade, however, I noticed Lily Evans standing nearby. She smiled over at me.
“Hi. Have you guys seen David Leonard?” David Leonard was in the year above us, and was Ravenclaw’s Keeper.
“No, but he’s probably doing his daily chin-ups.” Perry informed her. It was a running joke in Ravenclaw house that David only blocked goals due to his size- he was an exercise freak and very muscular, as well as being around 6’5” in height. Lily have Perry a strange look.
“You know there’s no password, you just answer the question the door asks you.” I informed Lily by way of changing the subject. Perry had somewhat of a history with David Leonard, and I had a feeling she wouldn’t like the fact Lily had a date with him; for every second boyfriend Perry had, she always went back to David. I wasn’t too fond of the guy, personally. I thought he kept all his brains in his muscles, and had no idea what he was doing in Ravenclaw. That sort of brawn was usually reserved for Slytherin’s, or at least the seventh year Gryffindor’s.
“I know,” Lily pinkened. “But I, um, didn’t know the answer.” I went back and knocked the raven-shaped door handle against the wood of the door. The cool voice rang out:
“What has an eye but cannot see?”
“That’s an easy one.” Perry scoffed, and I realised she was at the danger point of her temper with Lily over the David thing. Lily blushed harder and I felt bad.
“The answer is a needle.” I told the door.
“Correct, of course.”
“Oh Merlin, that was easy.” Lily blushed. “I’m no good at lateral thinking. Thanks, Erin.” She added, hurrying inside the common room. As the door shut, I wheeled around and found Perry seething, with a very nervous-looking Alice beside her.
“So your date with Sirius,” I said, it being my turn to grab Perry’s wrist now and drag her towards the stairs, “Looking forward to it?” Boys was Perry’s favourite subject and bringing Sirius up had the desired effect of distracting her from Lily and David. By the time we got to the Great Hall, she was almost cheerful again. I was blessing her short attention span as we sat down beside Frank, who was sitting with Adam Uley, our fellow sixth year Ravenclaw.
“Heard you’re dating Remus Lupin.” Adam started in right away.
“We’ve got a date, yes.” I answered.
“You could’ve come to Hogsmeade with me if you were that desperate.” Adam mumbled. I glared across at him.
“Excuse me, but I am not desperate.” Even if I was, I wouldn’t go on a date with you, I added savagely in my thoughts. Adam had been the only boy to previously express any interest in me, but I’d never really liked him. He could be okay in small doses, but really I found him dull.
“Whatever. Frank, can you pass the jam?” He asked. Frank obliged, but it was too late. I was pissed off now.
“Why in Merlin’s name would you think I was desperate?” I demanded across the table. Adam looked over at me.
“Didn’t mean it that way, okay?” For some reason, my temper was getting the best of me and I was reaching for my wand. I thought ‘Levicorpus’ furiously, and I had him hanging from his ankle in the air, his robes falling down to cover his face. Silence billowed out around me, and every eye in the Great Hall turned to look at me. Professor Flitwick came hurrying over from the teacher’s table.
“Miss McNamara! Let him down!” I turned, shocked at my own behaviour, towards the tiny Charms professor, unable to speak. “Erin!” He squeaked my name urgently, and I managed to think ‘Liberacorpus’. Adam fell back onto the bench, looking shocked and flushed in the face. “I’m going to have to take twenty points from Ravenclaw for that, and give you a detention. You can’t attack your fellow students. Just be glad that you did not perform a hex or jinx on him, or I would have to prevent you from going to Hogsmeade.” Flitwick walked away, and I realised I was still standing. Slowly, I sunk into my seat. I’d gotten my first detention- I was almost proud of myself, too, if only it wasn’t for the nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach.
“Close one.” Perry whispered in my ear as the chatter picked back up in the Great Hall. I nodded.
“What’s gotten into you?” Frank looked annoyed. I just shrugged at him and pushed my breakfast away, not enthusiastic about it anymore.
Due to the dangers of the world now that You-Know-Who was getting more powerful, we had to be searched when leaving and returning to the school. As we stood in line in the Entrance Hall, where Filch was standing with a Secrecy Probe, Remus caught up to me in the queue.
“Hey,” He said, his gold eyes kind of bugging out, “Are you okay?”
“Of course.” I answered blankly.
“What did Uley say to you?”
“He was just being a dickhead. What else is new?” I gave a false laugh and Remus gave an equally false smile. We were silent until we reached the village. I felt extremely awkward walking beside Remus, right behind Sirius and Perry, who were already holding hands. Her giggles were being carried back to us on the wind. I glanced at Remus as we approached Honeydukes and noticed that he appeared almost ill. I was about to ask, when he said, out of nowhere:
“It’s a full moon tonight.”
“Uh, is it?” I responded vacantly.
“I, uh, was looking at a lunarscope earlier, helping Peter with his Astronomy.”
“Oh. Full moon’s are pretty.” I said.
“I don’t like them. They give me the creeps.” He shrugged, looking fretfully up at the sky. It was a cloudy day.
“How come?” I enquired with some interest. I mean, Remus and I’d never really had a deep conversation before. It was fascinating finding out more about him.
“I, um, don’t really know. It’s just always given me the heebie-jeebies… like you don’t know what’s going to happen under that moon.” Remus struggled for the words. We were cloaked in the sugary air of Honeydukes now, thankfully, and there was enough excitable third years to drown out the uneasy atmosphere between us. I wished that it would go away, and I could breathe more easily, the way Perry had been with Sirius. But Perry was so much more practised at this than I was, and Sirius was so much better equipped than Remus too, I supposed. Vaguely, I wondered what a date with Sirius might be like. Would it be easy-going, relaxed, fun? I didn’t feel any of these things with Remus, but I reminded myself that this was new, and that Remus was nicer than Sirius in so many ways. Remus was unlikely to push for anything more than what I was willing to give, for example. I took a deep breath and tried to take comfort in the fact I was very much in the driving seat for this.
Remus led me further down the high street than I’d really been before, until we ended up near the Shrieking Shack. I looked at the boarded up windows and remembered all the stories I’d heard. From the outside, it reminded me of the building I’d been incarcerated in this summer. I shivered at the thought, and Remus noticed. He frowned questioningly at me, and I sighed, deciding to tell him.
“This place… it reminds me of… well, I imagine on the inside it’d be like where I was this summer.” I admitted.
“I didn’t really mean to take you here. My feet just kind of carried me here… I just didn’t fancy Madame Puddifoots.” I recalled that I was supposed to get Remus to go there so that Perry could ‘keep an eye’ on our date, but I had to agree with him on this one- that place just didn’t appeal to me.
“No, that’s okay. I didn’t mean to bring up something so morbid.” I laughed self-deprecatingly.
“Hey, I asked.” Remus met my eyes then, and I felt something warm shiver through me. “But this is hardly romantic, I have to admit… but I know somewhere that could be. Let’s go.”
A/N: Chapter six! I've got like twenty chapters of this done so it's just a matter of getting them all in whilst continuing the rest, as well as other things I'm writing. Please, please, I'm begging you, review! I'm having so much fun writing this that it would make me feel so good to know that people are actually reading it!
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