Chapter 6 : Chapter Six
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Author’s Note: Hello my kindly readers! I hope you all are enjoying everything so far; I know I am! Just wanted to drop by and say that I love all of you for reading, reviewing, favorite-ing, etc. It makes my day when I can open my email to see these lovely updates from you all. Thank you all for checking out each chapter, and as always, I hope that you enjoy this one as well! Can’t wait to see what you think of the new developments happening in this chapter. Enjoy, and don’t forget to leave a review if you feel so inclined!!
I was meandering through the Astronomy tower, avoiding the hot spots for student extracurricular activities (it’s amazing how many snogging students used this spot), when I felt a small tug starting around the area of my navel. It tugged a little harder, and I felt my feet skid slightly along the floor. I sucked in a deep breath, feeling the air rush in and out of me without taking hold in my no longer functioning lungs, and I reached out to touch the wall, to find purchase within myself. Except, I was no longer in the Astronomy tower, and my hands grasped a four-poster bed instead.
“How did you do that?” I whipped around, recognizing the voice. Remus was sitting on his bed, a book out in front of him, looking at me with awe tinged with a hint of fear. If I hadn’t noticed people’s expressions while I was a human, I certainly was starting to recognize subtleties as a ghost. But it could perhaps be because Remus Lupin had a terrible poker face.
“I honestly have no idea.” I said, taking a seat on the bed next to his, crossing my legs in front of me. “One minute I was up in the Astronomy wing, and the next I’m trying to catch my breath as I appear in the Gryffindor dormitories. So, your guess is as good as mine.”
“I thought you didn’t need to breathe?” Remus asked, and I shrugged, smoothing out the bedspread in front of me.
“I guess I don’t technically need to. But it seems to be a habit that has stuck with me; like tripping over my own feet, except now instead of smashing into the ground I sink right through it. Or even weirder, my body seems to float on its own without me falling at all.” I looked up at Remus’ face, gauging whether or not this was too much information. We’d taken to discussing certain facts of my ghost-hood, as he called it, but I was never sure what was going to send him running away from me altogether. So far, it hadn’t happened.
Remus closed his book, getting more comfortable on his bed, and leaning against the headboard. “You might be here because I was thinking about you.” He blushed only slightly, and I couldn’t help the grin that started at the corner of my lips. “Oh, quiet down.” He said, throwing a pillow at me. Unfortunately for him, it went directly through my form, as I was concentrating more on not sinking through the bed. We paused for a minute, before erupting into laughter.
“Remus, you do know that I’m a ghost, correct?” I laughed along with him, and it felt good to have a friend despite my current situation.
“What I meant was that I was thinking about your situation.” He looked at me intently, and I nodded for him to go ahead. “I know I’ve been asking a lot of questions lately, but I never asked you what happened to you. I mean, how did you, you know, become a ghost?”
My hands stalled as they played with a loose bit of thread on my sweater. I chewed on the inside of my lip as I thought of whether or not to tell Remus the truth when I had barely begun to think of it on my own. How did you tell someone you’d just met that you thought that your father had caused your untimely demise? How could I just come out and say that I’d been arguing with my muggle father who hated the fact that I was a witch, and that suddenly I was sliding down the stairs, breaking my neck in the fall?
“I’m not actually sure.” I eventually said, and I felt Remus’ curious gaze on my face. I avoided his sight, taking in the room that was becoming very familiar to me. There were Quidditch posters above the bed across the room; pictures of motorcycles and scantily clad women decorating the walls of the bed I sat on; books upon books stacked next to Remus’ four-poster; and the other two beds (man did I feel bad for the fifth member of this dorm) were rather plain, with only a few photos here and there on the night stands and dressers.
“Gwen?” Remus asked, and I noticed I had started to drift away, becoming a little less solid and a little more ‘ghost.’ “Have you ever wondered how I could see you without knowing you were there?”
My gaze shifted back to Remus, who had moved to sit on the edge of his bed, leaning forward towards me. I looked at my only human friend, staring into his golden gaze while taking in the dark circles surrounding his eyes. I had wondered, more than once, about what magical prowess Remus possessed that made him different from the rest, but I had never asked for fear of scaring him away. I stared intently at him, willing him to speak, when suddenly he sat up straight, looking away from me quickly and back to the door.
He slid back onto his bed very quickly, and grabbed his book, opening it to a random page. I was about to ask what had happened, when the door burst open and three unruly boys tumbled in. I recognized the other three Marauder’s immediately.
“And then I told her I wouldn’t be the go between for her crush on Sirius, and she dumped me.” Peter, the shortest of the four, with a slightly mousy appearance to his light brown hair and watery blue eyes, sighed dramatically and fell onto his bed, placing the pillow over his head. James and Sirius exchanged a look, rolling their eyes at his dramatics.
“What did you say her name was again, Wormtail? I’ve been looking for a date to Hogsmeade next week!” Sirius teased, smirking as the pillow came flying towards him.
“Feeling any better, Moony? I know it’s about two weeks until the next full moon.” James was talking over his shoulder, looking at Remus while simultaneously digging around in his trunk. Remus glanced over at me quickly, and I caught his gaze with a questioning look.
He shook his head at me, and then jumped up quickly when Sirius took a running jump towards his own bed, which I had apparently been occupying for the last half-hour. I let out a shriek, deliberately making myself disappear as he flew through the air.
“Sirius!” Remus yelled out, and the boy looked utterly confused as he landed softly on his bed, kicking his feet up and his shoes off while tucking his arms behind his thick black hair.
“Remus!” He mocked, giving his friend a confused look.
“Uhm, nevermind,” Remus said, blushing as he took a seat back on his bed, where I had reappeared. Sirius continued to look at Remus, but finally shrugged off his seemingly odd behavior in favor of turning his attention to James, who was now holding a rather raggedy looking piece of parchment and a liquid silver cloak. I recognized both immediately after my immense training on the Marauders that Peeves had insisted I did.
“Well boys, I’m off for a bit of mischief. Evans has rounds tonight with that Hufflepuff Diggory and I can’t let a little man like that step on my chances.” James grinned, flicking a hand through his mop of brown hair, and pushing his slipping glasses back up his aristocratic nose.
“Don’t get caught this time, Prongs. She’ll be the death of you, you know.” Peter said from his spot on the bed. His words, however, were dampened by the look of absolute respect shining through his eyes towards the very obvious leader of this group.
“Only if she doesn’t see the error of her ways.” James said, laughing as he walked out the door, shutting it loudly behind him. I rolled my eyes, trying to figure out how someone so loud could be as stealthy as he was. There were many a time where I had run into Potter in the corridors, though he didn’t realize I was there, and he had been very quiet indeed while stalking the fiery red-haired Lily Evans.
As Sirius pulled a magazine out from his bag, and Peter started to complain about some essay or another for History of Magic, I stood from my spot on the bed. Remus’ gaze went towards mine, and he smiled slightly. I realized that our time together now would be cut short, as he couldn’t really talk to thin air without arising suspicion, so I waved goodbye while walking over to the door.
Unthinkingly, I grabbed the handle, wrenching open the wood before I stopped. All three Marauders were staring at the open doorway, although only one saw me. I cursed myself for being so unthinking, and froze completely when Sirius jumped up to shut the door back. I forced myself to move as he walked closer, and I had just made it over the threshold to the landing when he looked out the door and directly at me.
“Prongs, that you?” I held my breath though I knew he wouldn’t be able to hear me. And then the strangest thing happened; he thrust his hand forward, waving it around. He narrowly missed me and I stepped even closer against the railing of the landing to prevent him from touching me. “Weird.” He muttered to himself, before stepping back and closing the door.
I let out a sigh of relief as I heard him respond to Peter, and then question Remus again about the full moon, this time with a more sincere tone of voice. Running a hand over my face, I closed my eyes, focusing on the Room of Requirements so that I would appear in my little nook. I was tired, though I didn’t know how that was possible, and I really wanted to lie down.
Opening my eyes, I pulled my hair down from its tight ponytail, curling up in front of the fire on the lounge that had appeared before me. Closing my eyes, I let myself drift in the ether, dreamless, neither a part of this world or the next.
Wandering through the library, I sent a slight nod to the Bloody Baron, who tipped his head at me, the chains he wore around his body tinkling. A few of the students in the room looked up, and I continued on, knowing they couldn’t see me and slowly but surely getting used to that idea. I had spent the day casually spying on James Potter, who had been casually spying on Lily Evans.
I smiled to myself when I thought about how protective he was over her. She had been on another date with Amos Diggory, and James had been none-too-happy with that fact. Although, and I was happy to see, he had kept his thoughts and feelings to himself, content to hide under the cloak as he watched from afar. And I had felt a little bad for him, as earlier that day during a Head’s meeting, Lily had waxed poetic about how soft Amos’ lips were, so I had knocked over a bucket of mop water, thoroughly drenching Amos and affectively ending their date.
James had been so pleased with himself that he’d almost given away his position.
Now, I was wandering the library shelves, wondering what to do with the rest of my day. Remus and I usually met up after he was finished with classes, when he would tell his friends he was going to study or to have a pre-dinner nap. James was usually with either Sirius, when he wasn’t with a girl, or Peter, when he wasn’t in the kitchens; but today he had mentioned something else he had to do, and I was left to spend my afternoon alone.
Sighing to myself, I rounded the corner, and paused as I stumbled upon a rather familiar looking boy. Bent over a piece of parchment, Sirius Black peered around the corner of the bookshelf, and then rifled through a few more pages in the book his was holding. I stepped forward quietly, trying to get a better look at the book.
Sinking down to the ground where Sirius was sitting, I creeped very slowly closer, hoping he wouldn’t sense that I was there. It was something very strange about the boy beside me that I hadn’t noticed before, but he was extremely observant. Small things here or there, and he would suddenly look up, seeming to stare almost directly at me before looking away, shaking himself as if to say, ‘no, you’re not crazy.’ I hadn’t figured out why yet, but it was something I was very curious about.
Finally close enough, I looked down at the page of the book in front of me, noticing it was for a rather new, and as yet not very researched potion. “Wolfsbane,” I muttered, before realizing I had said it out loud. Sirius’ head popped up, swinging to the map before he slammed the book shut and stood. He rounded a corner, with me hot on his trail, before he ran almost directly into Remus.
“Padfoot,” Remus started before noticing me right behind his taller friend. I waved my hands in a ‘stop’ motion frantically, but Sirius had already turned around, trying to figure out what Remus was staring at.
“Moony,” Sirius said, then he stopped, running a hand through his impeccably styled hair, mussing it up and gathering a few stares from a group of younger girls in the corner. Effectively distracted, he threw them a small smirk before turning back to Remus. “I think the maps gone buggy again. It keeps popping up with a name but there’s no one ever there.”
“Maybe I could take a look?” Remus said, as nonchalantly as possible, and I tensed up as Sirius gave him a questioning look.
“Unless you know a girl named Gwen, I don’t know how much help you can be,” He held the map a little closer to his chest, and I remembered Peeves telling me that Sirius had done most of the work that had gone into it. I was amazed for a moment at his magical prowess before I got back to the matter at hand. “I don’t mean that to be offensive.” He said hastily as Remus nodded.
“Yes, well, maybe it’s just gone a bit screwy; needing an update or something?” Remus asked, and Sirius nodded. Then he seemed to change topics all together.
“By the way, I found the book we were looking for the other night. The spell and potion are relatively new though; I’m not sure how much research has been done on the matter.” Sirius handed the book over to Remus, who quickly hid it in his bag. I tried to catch a glance at the title, but didn’t see enough.
“Thanks, Pads. We’ll have a look on it when we get back to the Dorms later?” Remus asked, and he nodded.
“I should be off. Try to figure out what’s going on with this old thing.” Sirius held up the map, then tucked it away into his robes pocket. “See you at dinner.” With one last glance around, he stalked out of the library, sending a few heavy-lidded glances to a few of his more recent girlfriends.
“Gwen,” I heard a whisper, and I refocused my attention on Remus who was walking back towards a more secluded part of the library.
“I swear, I think Sirius knows that I’m here but I don’t know how. He’s not clairvoyant, is he?” I asked as soon as we were out of earshot of anyone else.
“Sirius isn’t psychic. He’s just observant. And with your name popping up on the map so often, he’s probably just wondering if he’s going crazy.” Remus rubbed a hand across his face, looking more tired than usual.
“I seem to have that effect on people,” I laughed, the looked at my friend. “And where have you been all afternoon, Mr. Lupin?”
Remus’ face flushed pink, and I tried hard not to stare in confusion. “I had a date.” I was taken aback slightly as Remus’ ears went red as well.
“A date?” I asked, feeling slightly light-headed. It was strange, the feelings I was experiencing at the moment, and I tried to think of all the women I had seen Remus with in the last five weeks of knowing him. “Who with?”
“Uh, Dorcas Meadows.” Remus looked down at his shoes, and I immediately recalled the face of the girl in the Ravenclaw dorms with the smooth brown skin and expressive hazel eyes.
“Oh.” It was all I could think of to say, and Remus just nodded, leaving the silence between us to linger. “Was it nice?” I asked, feeling the pit in my stomach growing a bit deeper.
“It was.” His answer was short, but the happiness in his voice was enough.
“Well, that’s good then.” I pushed off the desk in front of me, feeling stranger than I had in a while. “Listen, I told the Grey Lady I’d speak with her about the Bloody Baron so I best be off.”
“Gwen, wait.” Remus said, but I had already disappeared, finding myself in the Room of Requirements before I had even had time to think.
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