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Chapter 12 : I Saw Her Standing There
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“Well, she was just 17, you know what I mean, and the way she looked was way beyond compare. So how could I dance with another when I saw her standin' there?” – Elton John and John Lennon, 1974
Peter Pettigrew slyly rolled his eyes as Aeryn pulled out her bag of vibrantly colored nail polishes and placed it on the Gryffindor common room table in between them. Although he loved having his girlfriend around all the time, he hated tolerating all her feminine tastes and activities. She hummed softly to herself - not paying attention to him as he eased back in his armchair - and Peter sighed. He never understood why she liked to paint her nails the Muggle way but remained silent as she ostentatiously sorted through her collection. She huffed and silently flip flopped between the colors.
“The red one,” he said. “You always look better in red.”
“Thank you, dear,” Aeryn blushed. She coyly blew him a kiss before she dabbed some liquid onto a cotton ball. Peter smiled triumphantly and placed his intertwined fingers over his belly. He watched her take off her current shade – a bright bubble gum pink – and when she got to her ring finger on her left hand, she paused. The Marauder felt his smile turn into a slight frown as she admired his gift.
Although he loved Aeryn dearly, his primary reason for purchasing the promise ring was for not for her benefit.
It was for his.
The ring was the result of a pact he had made with himself. Two days before the first Hogsmeade visit of the year, Peter finally recognized that a certain Slytherin occupied his thoughts almost daily; he knew it was only lust he felt for her but after smoking a pack of cigarettes, he realized that his urges were only out of fear. A fear of being weak and insignificant. But he was the master of his fate, not anyone else, so he decided it was time for him to face the facts, become a man, and take his relationship with Aeryn seriously.
After all, he’d been dating her for a year, which was no small feat. And they weren’t the only ones at Hogwarts with promise rings; many students pledged the same commitment due to the current volatile political climate. But it was only a promise of marriage, Peter reminded himself as Aeryn finished taking off her polish. It wasn’t set in stone.
“So Sirius and Gemma seem to be quite the lovebirds,” she began as she unscrewed the cap to her red bottle. Peter grinned; although most people called Lizzie Richardson the biggest gossip in school, the Gryffindor knew that his girlfriend secretly gave her a run for her money. And he did nothing to discourage her. He loved knowing the school’s secrets, since many of them involved the Marauders.
“That’s an understatement. I honestly don’t know what’s gotten into him. I’ve never seen him this wild before.”
“He’s not wild, he’s in love,” Aeryn chided. “I think he’s being romantic.”
“He snuck into the Slytherin dormitories to write Sirius + Gemma permanently on the back of all their robes. That’s reckless, not romantic. Do you know what they would have done to him if they’d caught him alone in their territory?” he countered.
“Oh come on, Peter,” she said, raising a brow. “You lot go in there all the time to prank them.”
“We never do it alone!”
“Fine, you never do it alone,” she responded, rolling her eyes, “but he didn’t go in there completely blind. He handled himself.”
“I think he’s worse than James used to be,” Peter grumbled as he crossed his arms over his chest. “And that’s saying something.”
“Speaking of James,” she said in a singsong voice as she started to paint her pinky fingernail, “did you hear that Lily is no longer seeing Walter?”
“You are such a gossip,” the boy scoffed playfully. “And yes, I did hear that.”
“So? What is James going to do about it?”
“Ummm, nothing?” Peter answered, clearly confused. “She told him to piss off so he’s been staying clear of her.”
“You males are so thick!” Aeryn said incredulously, almost spilling over her polish. “Don’t you see what’s happening? She went to Hogsmeade with Davies to shove it in James’ face. And since he didn’t seem to care, she scrapped the Ravenclaw captain because she never liked him in the first place. She wants James!”
“How did you know -”
“Because I’m a girl, Peter,” she answered as she finished her last nail. “And because I overheard Alice muttering something about the end of the world as we know it.”
“You have fantastic hearing darling,” Peter grinned as he showered her with unnecessary compliments. “You would be an excellent spy.”
“Me? A spy?” Aeryn laughed and then blew air over her nails. She shook her hands and then blew again. “I don’t think so. I’d be much safer behind a Ministry desk. Besides, I don’t know everything going on in this Castle. For example, I don’t know why Remus is acting like such a stroppy cow.” She looked up at him as she began her second coat. “Perhaps you could enlighten me?”
“He hasn’t said anything to us,” Peter answered mournfully as he leaned back in his armchair.
It was true. The boys first noticed something was wrong with their werewolf friend shortly after he came back from his recent Hogsmeade outing with Marianne. They tried to ask him what was wrong but he evaded their questions, saying he needed to focus on the upcoming Full Moon. It wasn’t until after Remus’ monthly transformation that they knew something was truly amiss; he didn’t attack them, only himself. Peter shuddered as he remembered when the assistant nurse had peeled back all his bandages the day after.
Remus had sent himself through the ringer.
If he told Aeryn this, she would have pushed him to investigate further to uncover the truth but he couldn’t tell her for two simple reasons. First, she didn’t know anything about the boy’s lycanthropy and Peter was not about to spill that secret. But moreover, Remus had invoked a sacred Marauder law when they finally cornered him and demanded to know what was going on – if someone says back off, you had to back off. Peter remembered when Sirius had invented the rule after coming back from his Winter Holiday at his parents’ house during their Fourth Year.
Sometimes, they agreed, a Marauder just needed space to think without his friends’ input.
However, there was a time limit to the agreement. The Marauder in question only had until the end of the term to remain silent before the others had the right to ask again. It was finally November, which meant that Remus only had until mid December to keep his secret.
Peter twitched. He hated waiting.
“Is it his mother?” Aeryn asked, slicing through his thoughts. “You don’t have to tell me the details.”
“I said I have no idea, Aeryn,” Peter responded, rolling his eyes.
“Fine,” she huffed as she finished her second coat of red polish. “But you do know how you pulled off your Halloween prank. How on earth did you manage to have everyone’s costume turn into their opposite?”
“We figured out how to cast a massive, complex switching jinx,” Peter grinned, thankful that someone had noticed their meticulous dedication to humor. “It only really worked with those who had extreme costumes. That’s why we picked such neutral ones to wear. Except for James. He actually wanted to switch from a student to a teacher just so he could sit at the Professors’ table in the Great Hall.” He sighed and smiled with a glazed look in his eyes. “Man, that was a good prank, wasn’t it? I’ll never forget the look on Avery’s face when she realized her witch costume had turned into modern Muggle clothing.”
“Well it serves Rose Smythe right for dressing up like an angel. Everyone knows she’s been a hotheaded devil ever since Sirius and Gemma starting seeing each other.”
“Well yeah, but Miranda Fletcher’s change was even better. She went from a young girl’s doll to an adult sex toy.”
“She probably didn’t mind the male attention,” Aeryn grumbled as she looked over her work. “She’s a whore.”
“What? You know I’ve hated her ever since she yelled at me during our first match of the season. But I’m not wrong you know. I have it on good authority that she’s slept with half the Castle.”
The pair continued to playfully gossip and bicker as the sun began to lower itself towards the horizon. Students bustled in and out of the common room, but neither Gryffindor seemed to notice; they were too entrenched in their own conversation. Peter finally threw a glance out the window next to him and sighed as he looked at the yellow, pink, orange, blue, and violet hued sunset reflected across the Black Lake. He marveled in the landscape’s natural beauty and his fingers automatically found their way to his pocket. After a quick inventory check, he counted three cigarettes left in his packet.
He grimaced. He’d only had ten this morning.
“I’m going to have a smoke, dear.”
“Oh, Peter,” Aeryn wined. “I do wish you’d stop. It’s such a disgusting habit.”
“Well it’s an addicting habit,” he replied as he got up from his seat, “nothing I can change about that. I’ll catch you later. We’ve got another prank to set up tonight so I won’t be back until the wee hours of the morning.”
She beamed as he leaned down and kissed the top of her head.
“Be careful! And remember to make Fletcher’s life a living hell for me!”
“I’ll do my best,” Peter chuckled as he ruffled her hair before exiting the common room. He trotted down the enchanted staircases and exited the Castle by the back doors, which led to the greenhouses and various other outdoor spots. Once he settled on a stone bench on the left side of a small courtyard, he fished a cigarette out of his pocket. The boy lifted his wand and muttered a spell; his cigarette caught on fire and he immediately sucked in the smoke.
Relief flooded through him and he leaned back against the stone column behind him.
Suddenly, Peter heard an odd clacking sound that disturbed his cigarette-induced serenity. He scrunched his brows together and peaked his head around the column to check if anyone was there. He took another drag when he realized he was still alone in the courtyard. He must have been hearing things. However, the sound continued softly and then progressively got louder. Peter’s nerves began to buzz through his system when he whipped around to his right.
Yet, just as suddenly as it came, the sound stopped. He sighed deeply as he exhaled. Everything was going to be fine, he told himself as he turned back to his original position. However, his cigarette dropped out of his mouth when he realized Luciana Rosier was standing in front of him.
“Hello, Peter,” she purred. “Got a light?”
He was speechless. The Slytherin’s long dark hair was pulled into an effortless chignon, her eyes were rimmed with black kohl, and although she was wearing the standard issued Hogwarts uniform, a couple of the top buttons on her white shirt were undone. He tried not to look at her tantalizing cleavage, but found that her legs were equally distracting.
She tapped her foot impatiently and Peter realized that her heeled boots were the source of the earlier clacking. He quickly picked his cigarette off the ground and placed it back in his mouth. Where had she come from? And why did she want to talk to him?
“I’m waiting,” the Seventh Year drawled as she pulled out a cigarette from beneath her robes and put it between her lips. She leaned down towards him and he found he had no choice but to immediately mutter a spell to light the tip of her cigarette. She took a deep inhale and smiled gratefully.
As the pureblood slyly sat down on the other side of the bench, Peter realized that his promise ring felt heavy on his left hand. He glanced down at the silver band and then back at his new companion. He gulped nervously. Luciana had previously been a figment of his imagination – the subject of his daydreams - but now she was next to him, looking at him hungrily as she blew smoke in his direction, and he had no idea what to do.
Peter felt his hand shake as he lifted his cigarette back to his mouth. He couldn’t bring in a third party to solve his dilemma; she wasn’t breaking any rules so he couldn’t report her to a Prefect. He thought about taking the Sirius route - which entailed cursing the living hell out of her so she would leave him alone - but the Gryffindor quickly decided against it when she shifted her weight and revealed that she had tucked her wand into the waistband of her skirt. Luciana was an excellent dueler and would eat him alive if he tried to attack her, so that option was off the table too.
Luciana apparently didn’t want to wait for his decision. Peter’s eyes widened dramatically as she suddenly shifted her body forward and crawled on all fours across the bench towards him. Her smirk was permanently etched on her face and he couldn’t help but compare her to a snake hunting its prey. Yet, he couldn’t look away. She was too enticing, too sexual. She made him want to throw off his promise ring.
“So I hear you’ve promised yourself to Aeryn Miller,” she sneered softly.
“I have,” he finally squeaked.
“Such a shame,” she sensually whispered in his ear as she took his hand and placed his pointer finger on her chest. “You should be with a real woman, Peter Pettigrew, not a young girl. You have so much potential. You should stop living in the past and start looking to your future.”
Peter knew he should have questioned her motives and defended his relationship with Aeryn, but he felt his brain turn to mush as his eyes rolled into the back of his head. Her skin felt so smooth under his touch and his mind instantly wandered as her hot breath touched his earlobe; he desperately wanted to rip off his clothes and let her have him then and there on the stone bench. Peter didn’t care that he was a virgin and had no idea what he was doing. He’d never felt such an overwhelming urge to have a woman dominate him. He was certainly miles away from his normal monogamous state of mind.
The Slytherin moved to capture his lips with her own when he heard something snap across the courtyard; his eyes flew open and he furtively glanced to his right to see that a passing bird had ripped a twig off a tree for its nest. The sound was enough to shatter Peter’s sexual fantasy. He quickly jumped to his feet and threw his cigarette to the ground. He didn’t care that her devious smile had turned into a menacing sneer. He did the only thing he knew how to do.
He ran for his life.
When he flew through the doors to the Castle and rounded the corner, the Gryffindor immediately tucked into a secret passageway to catch his breath. He put a hand up against the wall and coughed several times, still not believing what had just happened. Was he dreaming? Would he wake up soon and forget the whole episode because it was a figment of his imagination?
Suddenly, his packet of cigarettes dropped out of his pocket onto the floor. He stopped panting and stared at them cautiously. Although the pack remained still, images of Luciana naked lying across a bed flashed across his line of sight. His unconscious desire told him to pick the cigarettes up and light one on fire, but he instead put his shaking hand into his pocket.
Aeryn was right. He needed to stop smoking or else it would be the death of him.
Author’s note: Ughhhhh I am so not happy with this chapter. Whatever.
I originally wanted to quote “The Bitch is Back” by Elton John but I went with “I Saw Her Standing There”. I know it’s a Beatles song from the 1960s but Elton and John Lennon played it live at Madison Square Garden in ’74. It was Lennon’s last live performance.
Luciana is Jennifer Lawrence with dark brown hair. So like Katniss, just more evil :D
Also, my updates are going to slow down from now on. But I have to say, updating once a week (give or take) is pretty fast. So it won’t be months before you can read the next chapter … just more like 2-3 weeks.
The next chapter is Sirius/Gemma. You’ll like it XD
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