Chapter 20 : Mixed Emotions
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You’re not the only one
With mixed emotions
And you’re not the only ship
Adrift on this ocean
~ Mixed Emotions ~ The Rolling Stones ~
“Ssssh.” Sirius hissed in my ear. I bent down to look through the keyhole. Filch was examining the corridor, looking for signs of duelling. Of course, nothing had been damaged so there were no signs. He was speaking to his cat about ‘mischief makers’ and ‘talking to Dumbledore about this delinquency’. He gave up after a few minutes and wandered off. I made to leave the indignity of the broom cupboard, but Sirius grabbed me roughly from behind around my waist.
“You’re not going anywhere.” He whispered, again directly into my ear. It sounded like a threat, and a shiver went down my spine. He didn’t loosen his grip until I agreed. Then he span me unceremoniously around so I was against the back of the broom cupboard, and launched an assault on me. His lips were on my neck, biting and nibbling and his hands were roaming up and down my body.
“What are you doing?” I gasped, disliking the rush of lust raging through my body.
“You won’t let me talk to you any other way.” He murmured, slowing down to look into my eyes. “If you want me to stop, I will.” I recognised this as a challenge off the bat. He knew I wanted it; knew from the way my breathing was so shallow, the way my pupils dilated, and the way my body pressed itself to his even as my mind fought against it.
“I can’t believe you’re doing this to Remus.” I said.
“Do you have any idea how hard it’s been to sit next to you in class?” He asked me.
“Only if it compares to sitting next to you, treating me like shit on your shoe.” I retaliated. For once, he had the decency to look guilty.
“I’m sorry, alright? But you were so…”
“I know.” I breathed. “Sirius, I hate fighting with you, okay? But we can’t do this.” I indicated our position in the broom cupboard. He stepped away from me, rubbing the back of his head, looking distressed.
“I hate myself for this, Erin.” He told me quietly. “I don’t want to want you.”
“I know.” I repeated.
“Are you sure you don’t want to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas?” Remus asked me with a small smile on the morning of the day I was to leave for home. I shook my head.
“I need to see my parents. Spend some real time with them.” I insisted.
“I know.” He sighed. I knew he wanted me to stay because James was going home. Relations between himself and Sirius had been strained for over a month now, and I didn’t care to look into the reasons why. I’d been trying to put all thoughts of Sirius out of my head.
“Lily will still be here.” I reminded him.
“Yeah.” Remus agreed.
“And Peter.” He grinned a little wider now.
“You’re right. I’m being stupid. Have fun at home. I’ll write to you.” He added. I smiled at him. He was truly the sweetest guy I’d ever met.
“Yeah, thanks. Bye…” We both hesitated. Normal couples would kiss now, but we didn’t really do that. However, we were in the Entrance Hall, in front of people including Adam Uley, who was watching us closely. So, I bit the bullet and flung my arms around him, kissing him. He gave a little grunt of surprise but kissed back, putting his hands on my waist. The kiss didn’t last long, but it served it’s purpose as when we broke apart, I saw Adam looking down at his feet.
“Are you ready to go?” Frank called from behind me. I nodded.
“Bye, Remus.” I said again.
Filch prodded us with his Secrecy Sensor before we dragged our trunks down the stone stairs leading into the grounds and found a carriage.
“Do you have any idea why Alice decided to stay after all?” I asked Frank as the carriages set off.
“She said her cousin Fabian wrote to her, telling her she’d be safer at school.” I knew for a fact Fabian Prewett was in the Order of the Phoenix.
“Alice can look after herself.” Her spellwork had always been fast and instinctive- she may give the impression of being very gentle, but Alice could be fierce when she needed to be. She was going to be an excellent Auror.
“Yeah, well. She obviously thought it was good advice. I do too, actually.” Frank added.
“Yeah.” I agreed quickly.
“I’m surprised your parents didn’t tell you to stay at school after the summer.” Frank added. We were rolling through Hogsmeade at this point, and I looked out the window at the snowy high street for a moment before I answered:
“They want to see me. And I want to see them too; I miss them.” This was the truth. Not to mention I’d been desperate for an escape from Hogwarts ever since I fell out with Perry- not to mention the incident in the broom cupboard with Sirius. I hadn’t told Lily what I’d seen David and Perry doing- it was a battle of wills in my head- did I protect my old friend or warn an innocent girl against heartache?
Frank and I were silent for a while. But when we boarded the Hogwarts Express, we ended up in the same carriage as Adam Uley, Amelia Bones who was in Hufflepuff, and Fabian Prewett, a seventh year Gryffindor and cousin of Alice’s. This was interesting to me, and apparently Frank, who asked:
“I thought Gideon told his family to stay at Hogwarts?”
“He did.” Fabian shrugged. “But since when does my brother get to boss me around? Plus,” He added, “My sister Molly wrote to say she’s missing me.”
“Alice decided to stay.” I said. I’d never spoken to Fabian before, and with his good looks and fierce reputation, I found him a little intimidating. He turned to look at me curiously.
“What’s your name?” He enquired.
“Erin McNamara.” I answered, a little defensively.
“You’re the one dating Lupin?” I nodded. His expression changed.
“The Prefect.” He tapped the Head Boy badge on his chest with a grin. “He’s a nice kid.” I didn’t know what to say to this, so again, I nodded.
“I think he’s a bit of a wimp.” Adam said defiantly. I looked over at him coldly.
“Oh sorry, did somebody ask your opinion?”
“I’m just saying, he doesn’t do much but hide behind Potter and Black. Nothing too amazing about that.”
“Just because he’s not an arrogant little prick like you, doesn’t mean he’s a wimp.” I was surprised when Amelia Bones spoke up for him. “I worked with him in Herbology for five years. He’s a really nice guy.”
“Hmph.” Adam grunted. Frank looked at me. I knew he’d never really approved of Remus at first, but they’d gotten to know each other a little. Nowadays he was a lot more pro-Remus than before, though in his role as an older brother figure to me, he wasn’t too vocal about it. I could tell he was assessing my mood. I looked back at him stoically.
“You’re jealous, Adam.” Frank said mildly.
“Why would I be jealous of that little-“
“Everyone knows you’ve fancied Erin for years.” This shut Adam up. I grinned at Frank, and then Fabian caught my eye:
“It’s not hard to see why you went for Lupin, given the choice, then.” He smirked. With a huff, Adam got up and stormed out of the compartment. Fabian, Frank and I all laughed. Amelia rolled her eyes.
“He’s an idiot. I’d better go after him or he’ll think I’m betraying him.” She said, waving goodbye as she left. I raised my eyebrows.
“She’s dating Adam?” I asked Frank.
“Looks like it.”
“Poor girl.” Said Fabian, and we all laughed again.
I’d always loved Christmas, but as the Hogwarts Express pulled into London, I felt nervous. I approached my parents on the platform anxiously. My father was a tall, dark haired Irish man with twinkling blue eyes. He had been a Muggleborn, and I didn’t know his side of the family well, as they had remained in County Kildare when he moved over to London for work after he left Hogwarts. My mother was a Pureblood, a cousin of the Potter’s, actually. She looked young for her age, with the same brown wavy hair and dark eyes as me.
I needn’t have worried. As soon as I got close, my parents both enveloped me in a hug.
“We’re so sorry, love.” Mum murmured into my hair.
“Nice to see you, it is.” Dad said, taking my trunk as he let go.
“Thank you for coming home. We thought you might not want to, the way we acted in the summer after you… you got home.” Mum told me.
“Don’t worry,” I said, “I understand. I… I missed you guys.”
“Yer’ll be sick of us before long, you will.” Dad assured me, and we all laughed as we exited Platform 9 and ¾ for the hustle and bustle of Muggle Kings Cross.
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