Chapter 22 : You Know That I Know
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Well you know that I know that you ain’t no good
And you wouldn’t tell the truth even if you could
Lying is a habit you practise wherever you go
Well you may fool the rest of this world, but you know that I know
~ You Know That I Know ~ Hank Williams ~
“Hey.” Remus caught me up as I climbed the stairs to Arithmency. “How was your Christmas?”
“It was good. Nice to see Mum and Dad.” I peered sideways at him. I had to admit, he looked pale, but not in the usual approaching full moon sense. His face seemed to have fallen into misery, and his golden eyes had no glint to them. “How are you, Remus?”
“Why do you say it like that?” He demanded sharply.
“What do you mean?”
“Like you know something’s wrong?”
“Well, you don’t seem very happy. Is something wrong, then?” I asked. We’d paused at the top of the staircase. I didn’t know how this had become a fight, but we were definitely in fight territory, in any case.
“No.” He answered. I stared at him.
“Fine. I was just concerned about you, Remus. You are my boyfriend, right?” He glared down at me for a moment, but then his eyes softened.
“I’m sorry.” He said. “I’m being a prick. I’ve just had a lot on my mind...”
“You could tell me?” I suggested gently. He just shook his head.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m fine.”
He walked away then, and we sat apart in Arithmency for the first time all year. As I took notes, I glanced across the room at him. He was staring avidly at the teacher and paying full attention, and I sighed. I’d never pass Arithmency without his help, but things just weren’t the same anymore. I didn’t even feel that warm excitement building in me when he looked at me. Remus was just… Remus. Merlin knew I was a terrible person. But I honestly did care for him- I was just rapidly realising that my feelings were changing. I trusted Remus completely, and he was one of my best friends, but I just didn’t feel… that thing.
It was in Potions that afternoon that it happened. I usually worked alone in this class, since Perry and I were no longer speaking, and Alice always worked with Frank. So I was quite surprised when I heard the thump of a bag going down beside my cauldron. I looked around to find Sirius standing there.
“James has persuaded Lily to work with him.” He informed me matter-of-factly. “So we can be loners together.” I blinked at him before I came to my senses.
“Oh… yeah.” I agreed.
“I’m really sorry for what happened… you know, before the holidays.” He muttered. “It was awful of me.”
“That’s fine.” I said, blankly.
“I don’t know.” I sighed in response. “Look, Slughorn wants us to brew Veritaserum.” I pointed to the board. “Shall we make a start? It takes a month.”
“I hate these lengthy potions.” Sirius admitted. “But I guess you’re probably better at Potions than I am, so we’ll get it done okay.” He breathed in suddenly then, and I noticed that Perry had turned to glare at us. Well, this was new. She was working with Severus Snape, and neither looked too pleased with this arrangement.
“She hates me.” I mumbled miserably.
“I don’t think she hates you.” Sirius said, “Although Lily’s on the warpath with her and she probably blames you for that.”
“Can you blame Lily? I’d be furious if…” But then I remembered who I was talking to. There was an awkward pause, and Sirius coughed uncomfortably, lighting a fire beneath the cauldron hurriedly. When he resurfaced we avoided looking at each other too much.
The lesson dragged on slowly, and I was thinking about Remus. I knew I had to break up with him, even though it would be hard, and would cause him pain. But my mother and Lily were both right: it was wrong of me to lead him on. Alice thought so too, but she was too kind to say it. I sighed, looking over at Perry. Snape wasn’t letting her do much, being too absorbed in the potion and wanting to get it all right. Of course, Perry was quite a capable potioneer, but Snape obviously didn’t think so. She obviously felt me staring because she turned and I quickly looked away.
By the end of the lesson, with Slughorn approving our progress with the Veritaserum, I departed as fast as I could. I was desperate to be away from Sirius, but of course I’d forgotten that my next class was Ancient Runes anyway. He caught me up no problem as I queued up outside the room.
“Running away, are you?” He smirked. I looked away from him.
“What’s wrong with Remus?” I decided to ask.
“Oh, is that what this is about?” Sirius enquired. I nodded. “He’s just…”
“He’s just Remus, okay? I don’t live inside his head, but he’s insightful, you know.”
“What do you mean by that?” I demanded. Sirius just shook his head and led the way into his classroom. We’d sat down and taken out our things before he finally answered.
“He can sniff out anything dodgy a mile off. Call it wolf-like.” Sirius grinned a little at his own joke. “But he’s pissy with both of us. You figure it out.”
“You think he knows?”
“I think he knows we’re keeping secrets from him.”
“Do you think we should tell him the truth?” I looked at Sirius full in the face, and it was him who turned away this time. His handsome, haughty features were unreadable.
“He’s my best mate. I hate lying to him.”
A/N: Okay I know this is a really short one, but bear with me! The next one is going to be longer! I think this is still quite an important chapter despite it's length, however, so please still review!
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