Chapter 16 : Chapter 16: Relaxing
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Authors Note: Sorry for the evil cliffy last chapter, but it was necessary...hope you enjoy this chap, and as always, don't forget to review!
Natalie was standing in a large clearing. It was nighttime, but was extremely bright out. She looked up and saw a full moon directly overhead. Once again, she heard a man screaming in pain. She turned around to follow the voice, and saw a large rundown house, which she knew to be the Shrieking Shack. The screaming became a loud howling noise. Before she could move, a large dog-like creature came running out of the shack and towards her. Natalie bolted in the other direction, knowing that she would never be able to outrun the creature. She ran into the near by woods and tripped on a root from a tree. She stared into the darkness, the trees allowing barely any moonlight to penetrate them. When she rolled onto her back, she saw a great pair of yellow eyes about five feet away. The eyes began to come closer. Just before they were so close she could reach out and touch them, she heard people talking, and was awoken out of her seemingly real dream. When Natalie felt the intensity of the light through her eyelids, she knew she was in the hospital wing, and decided to keep her eyes closed, still appearing to be asleep.
“Do you think she is going to be alright?” Carla asked, sounding worried.
“I hope so,” James said. “Sirius and I need someone to bother over the vacation.”
“Shut up Potter, this is serious,” Lily exclaimed.
“No, I’m Sirius,” Sirius stated.
“Will you all just be quiet? Natalie’s lying her passed out from Merlin only knows what, and you are all bickering and cracking jokes. Why don’t you all just grow up already?” Remus said angrily.
“You know what, why don’t we all go down to the Great Hall and get some lunch,” Allison said apprehensively.
“You guys go, I’m just going to sit here a little while longer,” Remus said sadly. When the door closed, Remus stood up, and then sat on the side of her bed. Natalie opened her eyes groggily and stared into his, seeing the concern in them.
“I think I like it when they bicker and crack jokes,” Natalie said lightheartedly, her voice sounding very dry.
“You were awake?” Remus asked with a surprised look on his face.
“I woke up few seconds before that. How long was I out for?” she asked curiously.
“About three hours. We missed Potions and lunch is just about over.”
“We?” she inquired.
“Yea, I didn’t want you to wake up and not know where you were. It was murder getting Madame Pomfrey to let me stay,” he chuckled. Natalie noticed his face beginning to blush and smiled.
“Well, thank you for staying, and I’m sorry I made you miss class,” she said as she sat up in the bed.
“It’s okay, I hate that class anyway. So what happened? Do you know why you passed out?” he asked, his face becoming very serious. Natalie closed her eyes, and leaned her head back. She remembered hearing the screaming in her head, and remembered hearing the same man screaming in her dream, but what it meant, she had no clue, and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to find out.
“I heard a man screaming. He was in a lot of pain, and it was like I felt all of his pain in my head, and then I passed out I guess.” Remus just stared at her as if trying to read her thoughts.
“Are you sure that’s all that happened?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m sure.” Natalie didn’t want to tell him about her dream just yet. Before Remus could question her any further, Madame Pomfrey came bustling over to Natalie’s bedside.
“Well, I’m glad to see that you are finally awake. You gave us quite a scare Miss McBain. How are you feeling?” Madame Pomfrey asked in her usual cheery voice.
“Much better, thank you,” she replied. “Am I allowed to leave?”
“You may go, but I want you to take it easy. No class for the rest of the day. I’ll be sending a note to your teachers. You are to go to your dorm and relax,” she said sternly. “Mr. Lupin, if you would be so kind as to look after her today, I would greatly appreciate it. I will tell your teachers that you will not be in class either.”
“Yes, I will not allow her to leave my sight,” he said happily, making Natalie blush. Madame Pomfrey went back into her office, and Natalie climbed out of the bed.
“Well, I’m starving, lets go get some lunch!” Natalie said excitedly.
“No you have to go to the common room and relax,” he said in a fatherly tone. Natalie stuck out her bottom lip and pouted. “Fine, we can go get lunch, but not in the Great Hall. I know another place.” He grabbed her wrist gently, and led her out of the infirmary and to large painting of a fruit bowl. He tickled the pear and the painting moved aside to reveal the Hogwarts kitchens, and hundreds of busy house elves preparing food. An unusually tiny one hurried over to greet them.
“Good afternoon mister and miss. What can I get for you?” he said as he pushed them over to a table in the corner of the room.
“Pumpkin juice and some macaroni and cheese for the both of us,” Remus said, and the house elf hurried off to prepare it. “Is that okay with you?” he asked Natalie timidly.
“Yes, that’s exactly what I was going to ask for. How did you know that’s what I wanted?” she asked dumbstruck.
“I remember you once telling me that it was your favorite food, so I took a stab at it and guessed that’s what you wanted,” he said smiling. Natalie racked her brain trying to remember when she had told him this. It had been in second year at the start of term feast. She couldn’t believe he had remembered.
“That was four years ago. How did you remember that?” she questioned.
“I have a good memory,” he said blushing. The house elf returned with their food and hurried off to get back to work. Natalie and Remus ate in silence, thanked the house elves, and headed off to Gryffindor Tower. As they walked, Natalie noticed that he was heading in the same direction that he was that night during detention when they had to climb all of those stairs. Natalie’s legs began to hurt just thinking about them. Remus noticed that Natalie was looking worried. “Don’t worry, we’re not going that way, we aren’t taking any shortcuts. This just happens to be the quickest way back to Gryffindor Tower from the kitchens,” he said, causing Natalie to relax immediately.
When they arrived in the common room, Natalie lay stretched out across the couch while resting her head on the armrest and closed her eyes, wishing she had gone upstairs to get a pillow before she had lied down. She heard Remus feet climbing the stairs and opened her eyes to see him going to his dorm. A moment later, he returned with a pillow and a blanket from his room.
“Thought you might want to be a bit more comfortable since you have to stay down here,” he said as he handed her the pillow, and covered her with the blanket. Both items smelled like Remus. Natalie was pleased they came from his bed and not James’ Sirius’ or Peter’s because she could never tell exactly if those three were clean or not. Not to mention she liked the way Remus’ sheets smelled. She put the pillow under her head and lay back. Remus sat down on the floor in front of the couch and leaned his head back on the cushion. “So what really happened earlier? Who was screaming in your head?” he asked suddenly.
“I don’t know. When I was sleeping I had a strange dream also, but I’m not sure what it means,” she said.
“What happened in your dream?” he asked as he turned around to look at her. Natalie had to think hard in order to remember all of the disturbing details of the dream. She felt a little unnerved while telling him. The dream had really bothered her. When she told Remus, he stared at her curiously. He almost looked frightened. He turned back around and didn’t speak for a few minutes. Natalie was wondering what he was thinking, but before she could question him, the portrait hole swung open and their friends walked in.
“Natalie! Are you okay?” Allison screamed as she, Carla, and Lily all ran over to her.
“Do you know why you fainted?” Carla asked.
“No, Madame Pomfrey didn’t know either, she just said to relax for the rest of the day and gave me and Remus permission to not go to class so he could keep an eye on me,” she said shrugging. Carla, Lily, and Allison looked relieved that there was nothing seriously wrong with Natalie. Sirius sat down in one of the armchairs, and soon had Carla on his lap. James took the other armchair, forcing Lily to sit on the floor along with Allison and Peter. They all just sat there quietly for about ten minutes until it was time to go back to class. They told Natalie to take it easy and left the common room. Once again Natalie was alone with Remus.
“So what do you think the dream means?” Remus asked suddenly.
“I’m not sure, it seemed so real,” she said. There was another long, very awkward silence, which Natalie was eager to break. “So, do you have any plans for the holidays yet?”
“Yea, I’m going to be spending them with James, Sirius, and Peter. I almost forgot, you guys live in the same town. It’s going to be like we never left school,” he said merrily.
“Yea, I feel bad for Lily. She looks forward to the holidays because she would normally be getting away from James, but now he’s going to be right near her,” Natalie said laughing.
“Well, I’m glad because this way I get to see you,” he said sweetly. Natalie felt her face grow hot and her eyes light up. “Your eyes are as bright as the sun when you’re happy, did you know that?” Natalie just shook her head. She was secretly hoping that she and Remus would grow closer now that Zach was out of the picture, but she sure wasn’t expecting it.
Remus stood up off the floor, lifted Natalie’s legs up, sat down on the couch, and placed her legs on his lap. The two of them just sat there as Remus absentmindedly drew circles with his index finger on the calf of Natalie’s leg. Whenever he hit a sensitive spot, she would giggle and he would grin.
After a while, Remus stopped rubbing her leg as he began to doze off. Feeling tired herself, she carefully swung her legs off of Remus’ Lap, stood up, and began to walk towards the stairs heading up to the girls dorms. She didn’t get to far because she was pulled back down onto Remus’ lap.
“Where do you think you’re going?” he said groggily.
“To my room so I can go take a nap,” she said matter-of-factly.
“Madame Pomfrey told me not to take my eyes off you,” he said as Natalie stood up off of him.
“Well, I really don’t feel like sleeping in the common room, so if you don’t mind I-“ she started, but was cut off when Remus suddenly stood up, grabbed her, and threw her over his shoulder. “Hey! What do you think you’re doing?” she yelled as he headed towards the boys dorms. “This isn’t relaxing you know. Put me down!” she said angrily, as she kicked her legs, trying to make him drop her. He tightened his grip on her as he climbed the stairs, and only let her go when he reached his bed.
“If you don’t want to sleep in the common room, you will sleep in here. Madame Pomfrey told me to watch you, so I will not disobey,” he said sternly. Remus turned around and walked quickly out of the door. Natalie was about to follow him, but he returned a few seconds later with the pillow and blanket that he had brought downstairs, and threw them onto his bed. Remus sat down in the chair at the desk next to his bed, leaned his head back, and closed his eyes.
“See, now you’re just making me feel bad, because I know you’re still tired and now you have to nap in a chair,” she said very sullenly.
“Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. Believe me, I’ve been much more uncomfortable in my life than I am right now,” he said tiredly. Natalie was confused about this odd statement and still felt really bad, so she decided to pull out her wand.
“Stand up, I have an idea,” she said, as she pulled Remus out of the chair he was in. She picked up the chair and moved it over to the other side of the room as Remus watched her with curiosity. She muttered a quick spell, and the desk that was next to his bed became a bed, containing both pillows and a blanket.
“Now why didn’t I think of that last night, my head still hurts from when I fell out of bed,” he said jokingly as he rubbed his forehead. Natalie giggled as she hopped onto the newly transfigured bed and jumped up and down like a child, while Remus watched her, clearly amused, before climbing onto his four-poster, and faced the jumping Natalie. She stopped jumping and lay down facing him.
“Sorry, I couldn’t resist, the bed looked really bouncy and my mother never let me do that when I was little,” she said timidly. Remus smiled at her as he pulled off his heavy outer robe and maneuvered himself under the blanket as Natalie did the same thing on her bed. The two of them just stared at each other for a few moments before Remus spoke.
“So how do you feel about the Zach situation?” he asked. Natalie was surprised by the topic he chose to talk about, but replied nonetheless.
“What situation? He hurt me and we are over, end of discussion. He was just a big waste of my time,” she said, feeling her anger rise. Remus just nodded his head and Natalie turned onto her back to stare at the ceiling. She felt her eyes growing heavy and they slowly began to close.
“No one will ever hurt you again, I promise,” she distinctly heard Remus whisper just as she fell asleep.
Isn't Remus cute when he flirts? Just so you know, the next chapter jumps ahead about a month and a half, just incase there is any confusion in the excerpt. The next chapter is also a little short, mainly because I had written it on my word processor while my computer was broken, and it didn't have a word count, so sorry. Well anyway, here is the preview!
Chapter 17: Giving James Advice
“Remus really does like you,” he said, causing Natalie to stop in her tracks and turn back around.
“We’re only friends James, nothing more,” she replied shakily.
“Why do you think he was so angry when you started showing an interest in Zach?” James asked.
“He was mad because he knew Zach was a jerk, not because he has feelings for me,” she retorted.
“No, he would be mad at Zach if he knew he was a jerk, and he would have told you straight to your face, but he wouldn’t have stopped talking to you because of it,” James said. “Sirius, Peter, and I didn’t like him either, but did we stop talking to you because of it?” Natalie shook her head. She couldn’t believe that they were even having this conversation.
“If what you’re saying is true, why doesn’t he tell me?” she asked as she folded her arms.
“Because he doesn’t think you’ll love him because of what he is…” James started, but quickly put a hand over his mouth to stop himself from talking.
“Well, what is he?” Natalie questioned.
“Nothing, never mind, forget I said anything,” James said as he stood up and made his way towards the stairs to the boys dorms.
“James Potter, you tell me what is going on this instant,” Natalie demanded.
“It’s not for me to tell,” he said quickly before bolting up the stairs, leaving Natalie extremely confused.
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