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Chapter 1 : one.
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Her brown, leather trunk sat behind her and her vibrant, blue eyes watched as the platform blurred out of view. Sighing, she pressed her head against the nearest wall she could find. This summer hadn't been the best for her. Some weeks she made it without thinking of him but considering the fact that he was her neighbour, it never lasted. He always had a way of slipping into her thoughts, her mind, her dreams and it drove her crazy.
Jodie had had crushes before but none like this one. The earlier ones were measly crushes. They were spur-of-the-moment crushes that lost her interest after two-three weeks. This one... who even knew how long this one had been harnessed into her heart. It was probably there sometime before... she just hadn't realised it till it made itself visible, till it bubbled up to the surface. She closed her eyes briefly and in that moment she saw a flash of almost-black hair, black-rimmed frames and bright, hazel eyes. She was screwed and she knew it.
How could I be so stupid, she asked herself.
Opening her eyes, she grabbed her heavy trunk and started to stroll past compartments, dragging it behind her as she went. There was someone she had to see.
It took Jodie some time to find the compartment she was searching for. It was positioned right in the middle section. She knocked once before pulling it open. She didn't have time to be patient today.
Inside, there sat three boys. One matched her 5' 6" and had stringy, beige-blonde hair; another had a slight aloof manner about him and had a lazy smile graced his face; and the one she was looking for smiled at her when he took notice of her presence.
"Hey Jodie!" sang Peter from the corner. He always had this shy-nervous thing going on for him. Some people found it awkward but others, like Jodie, found it sweet and adorable.
She smiled at him. She had met him in her first year but hadn't become friends with him until last year when she offered to tutor him in Transfiguration. Usually it was Remus who did the tutoring, but due to newfound prefect duties last year he hadn’t had the spare time. "Hi, Peter. How was your summer?"
He beamed politely. "Pretty good. Yours?"
"Nothing too exciting happened but it was good overall," Jodie lied, her stomach turning as she did. Lying was a natural ability for her but that didn't mean she liked it. In fact, she hated lying.
She turned to the lanky boy sitting next to him. He had gotten even taller than before, she noted. "Hey, Remus. Good summer?”
He smiled a genuine smile, his crooked one that made him seem open instead of the forced one he had mastered. “Good. Spent most of it with the Marauders.”
She nodded, knowing this was true. The whole lot of them had knocked on her door several times but every time they did she had hastily made up some sort of excuse. It’s not like she didn’t want to hang out with them. It’s just that if you want to avoid one of them, you have to avoid all of them.
Snapping out of her thoughts, Jodie focused on the task at hand. “Remus, can I talk to you for a second?”She motioned to the hallway. Remus nodded, standing up quickly.
The two of them put distance between themselves and other two boys. He offered to carry her trunk for her and she obliged. After five minutes, Remus spoke. "Jodie, what's wrong?"
She didn't turn to look at him. "Not here, Remus." She scanned the nearest compartment. There was only a first year in it. When she opened the door, he jumped up in fright. Putting a smile on her face she said, "Now, now, why don't you run along and join some other kids your age?" The boy nodded and rushed out in fright.
Jodie entered and Remus shook his head at her. "Scaring off children now, are you Jodie?"
"I'm not in the mood, Remus." Jodie took a seat near the window as Remus put her belongings up and away. He then joined her on the opposite seat.
"So what's so important?" he questioned, a look of concern on his face.
"How do you know that it’s important?" She blew a piece of her long, dark brown hair off of her face.
He leaned in, meeting her blue eyes. "Exactly why would you drag me from Sirius and Peter to an empty compartment if it wasn't important?"
"I did not drag you. You came willingly," she replied offhandedly.
He raised an eyebrow at her. Amusement and authority sparked in his warm, brown eyes and she gave in, sighing. Jodie stood up and shut the door and with a flick of her wand locked it with magic. With another wave of her wand, she cast a silencing charm.
"You are locking the door? What will people think?"
"That we don't want to be disturbed?" she answered as if it was obvious.
"Or they might think that we are snogging?" offered Remus, his lip twisted in thought.
Jodie rolled her eyes. She had never really cared of what people thought of her as long as they respected her for the right reasons. Remus on the other hand was always wary of the rumors that went around about him which made sense considering his condition.
"Why Remus? Disgusted by the thought of snogging me?" Jodie pouted at him in hurt. One of her favourite pastimes was teasing Remus. If Remus had got offended easily, he would probably have hated her but he didn't which is probably why they shared such a good friendship. "It's okay Remus, truly. I'm not offended in the slightest. At least people will think I can bag Remus Lupin."
"You're bagging me now?" He continued with the game, playing along.
"Actually, I'm ripping off your clothes," she finished off with a wink. He started laughing. She resumed her spot across from him, slapping his hand as she sat.
"Oh, find it funny, do you? Think yourself as that high, Lupin that I can't get you?" He shook his head at her and Jodie grinned.
"Well, it's not like I need my clothes anyways, right?" he muttered.
"Exactly my point." They both sat there for a moment. Remus was looking out the window while Jodie inspected him. She never did understand why he didn't have a girlfriend. She had noticed early on that he was quite attractive. With his light, ashy brown hair and genuine smile he was cute, maybe even hot. He didn't have a broad, muscular build but that's alright, not all girls are fond of that anyway. On top of all of that, he was smart and nice, even funny when around people he trusted. Scrunching her eyebrows together, she inquired, "Why don't you have a girlfriend?"
He gave her a small, sad smile. "We both know the reason for that."
She frowned, “That shouldn't keep you from getting into a relationship."
"Who would date a furry beast?"
"Lots of girls." She crossed her arms over her chest and he leaned back in his seat in disbelief.
"Uh huh. Why don't you name a few?"
She narrowed her eyes and he gave her a look that said 'that's what I thought.'
"If you only-" he cut her off gently before she could finish.
"Drop the subject, Jodie." She huffed and he continued, "Don't you have something to tell me?"
Her demeanour changed instantly. Her shoulders sagged slightly and her fingers started to fidget. Exactly how did one tell a friend that she had a crush on their other friend?
"Um... about that…" she trailed off.
"Come on, Jodie. You can tell me," he reassured.
"I kind of like someone." She trusted Remus, she really did and even though Remus wasn’t the type to judge, she had a feeling he would this time. Because this time it involved someone close to him, probably closer to him than her. There also may be another reason she didn't want to tell. A selfish reason and that was that if she said it out loud, it would be final. Definite. It would mean she was admitting to it, that it was true. And that scared the living crap out of her.
"Since when have you ever taken crushes seriously, Jodie?" joked Remus, trying to make the mood lighter. But when he met her eyes, he realised how utterly nervous and serious she was. "Who is it, Jodie?"
She stared down at her hands and mumbled, "JamesPotter."
Jodie sighed. "James Potter."
They both held each other’s gazes before Remus put his hand on his nose and pinched it in frustration. "Jodie, do you realise that-"
"That he is my childhood friend and only looks at me like a friend and is probably in love with Lily Evans? Yes, Remus, I do," she finished, equally frustrated. She knew Remus would bring these points up, anyone who had a single brain cell would tell her the things she already knew for a fact.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, as sure as one can be." Jodie hung her head in her hands, her hair fanning out around her. Remus came beside her and hugged her to him. She leaned on him and he let her. They shared the moment for a few moments before she whispered, "What's going to happen now?"
"Depends on what you want to do about it." Remus pulled away from her and tried to give her an optimistic smile but failed once he saw the sad, confused expression on her face. Students always predicted that they would end up falling for each other but he knew better. However, he never saw it coming that she would fall for James. Everyone fell for James (that or Sirius) but she had never been like the rest.
She seemed to have read his mind. "I guess I've become like those girls, huh?"
"No, you could never be like those girls."
"This is bad, isn't it Remus?"
"It could be worse."
Jodie gave him a look of disbelief, quirking up an eyebrow as she did. She knew Remus was trying to be optimistic but at the moment she just wanted wallow in self pity. All summer she had had to put on a good face for everyone which wasn’t easy in the slightest. Right not she wanted to give up but she knew that if she did, she would hate herself for it. Jodie was a Gryffindor and Gryffindors don't wallow, they fight through things. She knew that for a fact.
"How could it be worse?"
"You could have a crush on Sirius," Remus mused. This statement made Jodie laugh, more because it was silly rather than funny.
"So what do you want to do?"
She sat up straight, already knowing the answer to his question. She had thought this through many times already and she was sure she wanted to follow through with it. It was the best way, in her opinion. No one got hurt this way and nothing messy would result in it. She let out a breath. “I want to get over him.”
“But I need your help,” she added.
He nodded again, waiting for her voice to break.
“This way no one gets hurt.”
“No drama. No rumours. No James finding out.”
Her voice broke with her next sentence.
“Gosh, I’m so stupid.” She gripped her hair in annoyance. She had never had a problem with these things and it bothered her to no end that that had changed. Her love life had always been kind of bland and boring, like oatmeal, and now it was like Fruit Loops, a bunch of colours mixed up just like her emotions.
“You aren’t stupid, Jodie.”
“Really? ‘Cause I think I just fell for the most arrogant, childish boy in all of Hogwarts.”
“Yes but he’s also one of the most brave and loyal,” he added on softly. She hung her head in agreement.
They then sat there in silence before Remus had to take his leave. “I’m to go to the Prefects Meeting. Sorry I can’t stay longer. If you want, I can skip it and find out the main announcements from Lily.”
“It’s fine. Go ahead. I still have to find Isobel, anyway.”
As he exited, Jodie yelled out a “thanks.”
In return, he yelled back, “don’t mention it.”
The background: I was quite hesitant to post this fic. Another WIP = more time, but it also equals more excitement, right? Anyway, this is my first third-person, past-tense long story. Right now it is marked as a Novella but there is a chance it will become a Novel. Another bonus and change, I'm going to not plan this story extensively and just go with the flow and as chapters are written, I'm going to straight away post them (well, after some editting that is).
The last thought: I would really love to hear your thoughts in a review , even if it is only a sentence. :)
The Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, that belongs to the amazing JK Rowling. And nor do I own Fruit Loops.
Up next: You meet the devious Sirius Black and the talked-about James Potter.
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