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My Reflection by Astrid Elisabeth
Chapter 9 : His Kiss
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Chapter Nine, His Kiss

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Learning to walk set you free.
Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all:
to express your whole self, the person you are.
~Melissa Hayden

I sat there, listening to Gwen Jayson asking Remus out. Wasn’t guys supposed to do that? I guessed Gwen was a different case. It didn’t matter. She had asked him, and he was about to give her a reply.

I held my breath in anxiety. What would he answer? I was close to flipping my head back, I was afraid they’d see me watching.

“Maybe I will,” Remus told her, holding onto her hand a little firmer.

My heart skipped a couple of beats.

“Ok.. Just let me know,” Gwen said in her sweet and cute voice.

Gwen’s smile would have been noticed all over the common room if they hadn’t been sitting in a corner where the light didn’t succeed in winning over the dark. But in my vision they were standing out. I kind of knew Gwen fancied Remus, I saw her writing his name somewhere I didn’t remember. She was in sixth year, I figured. Or maybe she was a fifth-year?

They sat there chatting for a while, me sitting there paralysed in my chair. My heart was so loud in my own ears I was afraid someone might hear it. My mouth refused to close. I felt my hands shaking on my lap. Remus had just said he’d consider dating this girl. I couldn’t blame him, Gwen wasn’t exactly ugly.

I looked over at her. Her skin was still tanned after the summer. I could only dream of that colour even dropping by for a visit. Her hair was dark blonde and curly. She was what Black and Potter would have called ‘a classic beauty’. My hair was just wavy and uncontrollable at times. I had always wanted either curls or straight hair.

Her body was even under the category ‘good looking’. Why wouldn’t Remus want to date her? But one thing I didn’t get was how he would manage to hold onto her for more than a month. Full moon had been last week, and what would he do when it was that time again? Lie to her? That was what Remus hated. Lying to people. He was honest, so would he build a relationship based on lies?

Maybe I was putting too much into this, but it was still shocking to be there, watching them together.

Remus was popular because he was one of the Marauders, I knew some girls longing for him. But he always turned them down. I knew he had had at least two serious relationships, but both had been as short as mine with Bryn.

Gwen kissed him on the cheek and went up to the girl’s dormitory. He sat back, and didn’t finish his homework for a change. This was something different. I had to talk to him, even though I knew it would be a mistake.

“Remus? Sitting here by yourself?” I said, sitting down next to him, putting a strand of hair behind my ear, which had escaped from my ponytail.

“Yeah, kind of tired today,” he said, leaning his head in his palm.

“It isn’t full moon already, is it?” I frowned.

Remus looked over to me the same way he did when I told him I was in a bad mood. When I did that his look told me he could do almost anything for me to be happy again. That was what his look was like now. Concerned. Searching.

“What’s wrong, Lily?” He was at his full senses, sitting up straight and everything.

“Is there something wrong?” I tried, but I felt my voice going unsteady.

He searched my face, edging closer to me.

“I think there is,” he simply said.

“Why is that?” I asked, feeling stuck in a corner.

“You always know when my transformation is, I know for certain that’s one of the few things you’ve got straight.”

‘Shit. Remus knows me too well.’

“I just noticed you and Gwen earlier,” I said truthfully and quiet.

“Oh,” he said quickly. I saw a faint blush creep up by his ears.

“I didn’t know there were things going on between you two,” I said.

“Nah, just the last couple of weeks,” he smiled.

‘Last couple of weeks…? Why hasn’t he filled me in on this?’

“Are you going to go out with her, then?” I asked carefully.

“I think so,” he said, still searching my pale face. “How much did you hear?”

I pretended to be thinking. I didn’t want to seem desperate, and I didn’t want him to know I didn’t hear all that by accident. I had a feeling I was deep down in the mud already.

“Everything, give or take,” I said, smiling sheepishly.

“Lily…? What’s going on?

His eyes were dancing behind his sandy hair. I could get lost in them…

‘This is not good…’ I thought.

“I’m just worried about you,” I tried. “Are you sure Gwen has the right intentions? And are you sure about this considering what’s happening once a month?”

“Gwen has never been with guys with the wrong intentions as far as I know, at least,” he said almost hardly.

He didn’t stop searching my face. Then he suddenly softened. He reached out and put his hand on my cheek, his eyes concerned. As his hand rested on my face a warm wave rushed through my body.

“What’s wrong, Lily?” he whispered. “Usually you tell me to forget about being what I am and not let that come in my way. Why did you change your opinion?”

This was too much. How could I not be in love with him when he was like this? So caring and gentle … I wanted to put my hand on top of his, but I didn’t dare to. I could have sat there for ever feeling his warm hand against my skin.

“I mean, if I could only date the girls knowing about my secret, that would basically mean…”

His hand slowly dropped from my cheek, and I felt my eyes go red again. I missed his hand already, and I knew his brain was racing. I knew Remus wasn’t stupid.

He had understood.

His face and his eyes said it all..

“No, Lily..” he whispered so quietly I barely heard him.

None of us spoke for a while. We just sat there, looking at each other. Remus looked more ‘What do I do now,’ more than anything else.

“My beautiful Lily,” he then whispered, dropping his head.

I had a short intake of breath and all my senses were back on.
He said ‘Beautiful’.

“I’ll never be good enough for you,” he smiled, looking back into my face.

“What?” I forced out. “Why?”

“I’ll never give you the love you deserve. I’ve been too lost in my own thoughts of never loving anyone to love you enough.”

My hand closed over my mouth. How could he say that? Anyone to have Remus love them would be as lucky as they could ever wish for…

“And I don’t want to ruin out friendship, Lily,” he concluded. “You mean the world to me, I don’t want to lose you as a friend when you break it off with me.”

“No, Remus. I don’t intend to do that,” I said. I was almost angry with him for saying these things.

He took both of my hands in his own and looked into my ocean of deep feelings through my emerald green eyes.

“You don’t love me, Lily. You love someone else. I know you do. Just look into yourself and find out who that is.”

He didn’t let go of me. I wouldn’t let him either. I felt tears stream uncontrollably down my cheek, and I closed them to avoid his shining eyes.

“I’ve loved you for a long time, but I soon learnt to love you as a sister and not as a girl I wanted as my girlfriend. That’s what’s best for both of us, Lily…” His voice was almost as unsteady as mine by now.

“Understand? Don’t love me, Lily. I won’t let you.”

I removed my hands from his and dried my face. Why? I had been so worried he hated the thought of us being more than friends, when he really had thought about it so much he decided he was not worthy of me? It was so surreal I didn’t know if it was a bad dream or if I was actually sitting here, watching it happen.

“Maybe this isn’t a very good idea, but.. Can I kiss you? Just once?” he whispered. His blush had spread to all over the face by now.

I looked up, and our eyes met.

I nodded slowly. I don’t know why I did it, but I wanted him to. Just that one time. Even though I knew I would regret it and remember that kiss for ever…

He leaned in, and let his hand rest on my cheek once more. His other was placed gently around my neck. I just sat there, not really knowing what to do. I was so mad at him for doing this to me, but at the same time I was waiting.

He closed his eyes, and I did too as his lips came closer and closer to my own. I was still feeling wet tears emerge from my closed eyes as they came in touch with mine ever so gently. He held the kiss for a little while before letting go. As if I was a glass doll so vulnerable it could break any moment.

He pulled back, looking at me there I sat so shaken and wet of tears.

“Go and just be alone for a while, Lily. Just think. You’ll see it’s best this way,” he said softly.

I had not yet disobeyed a direct order from Remus, and this was not going to be the first time I did it.

I couldn’t help but lie there and cry on the top of my covers. He turned me down. Not because I was not good enough, but because he though I was too good for him.

This confused me, as so many other billion things did.

He really made me feel shitty doing this to me. This went against all my self-esteem. According to myself I wasn’t good enough for anyone. Nobody deserved having to get stuck with me. And Remus, the one I wanted to see happy more than anyone else, told me the exact opposite.

Everything faded away compared to this. All the ballet. All the troubles with Potter. All my confusion. All the friends leaving me to rot in dancing lessons. All my cries when I was about to collapse. This hurt so much more. He had broken my heart. I was not used to that. Last time, I was the one braking Bryn’s heart. Maybe I should apologise to him, because it really hurt. A lot.

Suddenly I remembered something else Remus had said.

“You don’t love me, Lily. You love someone else. I know you do. Just look into yourself and find out who that is.”

I would at least do him that favour. Maybe he would be happy if I found out who I loved. I couldn’t stand seeing Remus like that. I knew it would take some time to dare to dig that deep down, because I didn’t really dare to fall in love. It had been different with Remus, because I knew him so well and I felt secure with him. Finding out who else was hiding in my heart would take courage. Did I have that courage?

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