Author: Yorik PM
It takes a man to admit that he is wrong. A fight in the rain changes Remus' view on life forever. IN THE PROCESS OF BEING EDITEDRated: Fiction T - English - Angst - James P. & Remus L. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,080 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 3 - Updated: 01-10-13 - Published: 10-19-05 - id: 2625026
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not mine.
I wake up to the scent of antiseptic and detergent. I know this smell - I must be in the hospital wing. I haven't opened my eyes yet; there's no need - not yet, anyway. My entire body is stiff. I move a little, and a burst of pain shoots through me. Damn.
Something's moving towards my right. Perhaps it's James. Do I want to see him? Wait, let me rephrase that - can I face him? I haven't felt this embarrassed in a long time. He taught me a lesson. The irony of this is sickening. I'm supposed to be the mature one!
The first wrong move I make is when I decide to open my eyes.
The light is blinding, although I know for sure the hospital wing is only illuminated by a few candles. I must have groaned or something, because somewhere above me, someone whispers my name.
I look up into her face, and that's all it takes to remind me that I have a searing headache. We are both motionless, staring at each other dumbly. This is stupid. My brain pounds against my skull in a strange rhythm, and I think of war drums and cannibals. I suppose that all things considered, it's a pretty accurate metaphor. This is war; we're fighting over territory: James. Sadly this will not end in a bloodbath. No, I've got to outsmart her.
She's opening her mouth to say something. No…no…just shut up and go away…
I suppose I've got to answer now, It's the right thing to do. Unfortunately for her, I'm not feeling too agreeable. Ugh. Oh, fuck it all. Let her talk. After all, it's not like I have to listen. She takes a deep breath. Oh great, she's going to take the plunge. Why doesn't my brain have an autopilot of sorts, like Wormtail has? He was always so good at tuning out…
"Remus, we have to end this."
I'm not even looking at her. I don't want to. She's the ugliest thing I've ever laid my eyes on. In fact, I can't believe I haven't gone blind. Didn't Medusa's face turn people into stone? What does James see in her? She isn't anything special. She's nothing. A nobody.
"Remus, are you listening to me?"
What do you think?
"Look," she says, and her voice drops a few octaves. I can't help but pay attention. Her voice is annoying me. Why won't she just go away?
"Look." She says again, "I couldn't care less about you, Remus. You've been a right arse and I think you deserve to be where you are."
An arse? Me?
Oh, this is rich.
"What- or I should say, whom I'm worried about is not you, but James."
Well hurrah for you, Evans, you're a bloody saint. If it weren't for her none of this would've happened in the first place, and it's why she should stay the hell away. She is poison to our system. She will kill us; in fact she almost did. I wonder where Sirius is. Why isn't he taking her from me? I have a searing headache and what I imagine to be a hole in my chest. The pain goes all the way down to my bones, though that could just be the Skelegro at work. Frankly this is not a good time for us to be talking. I may do something drastic…like throw myself out of a window.
"Have you seen him yet?"
Oh, James. I try to hoist myself further up my pillow so I can see beyond my feet. At first all I see are empty beds, but then I notice a man-sized lump on the third to my right. It's James - at least, that hair looks familiar. Everything else is bruised and swollen. He looks terrible. When it finally registers that this is my best friend, and that I'm the one who hurt him, my heart plummets into my stomach. All I can see is his face.
Is he…dead? No, he can't be - he wouldn't be here otherwise. You can barely tell that he's breathing. Oh, God…what have I done? I have to go to him. I have to make sure he's going to be okay.
I start to push the sheets off my legs. Evans isn't watching me right now. She's looking at him. She looks sad and I feel this sudden disgusting surge of sympathy and what the hell am I thinking and- Argh! Hotshitonaplate that fuckin' hurts! I thought that I'd be used to pain by now. I suppose not. She suddenly catches me crawling out of bed and she makes a strange grunting noise. Like a pig. Like a pig that's about to be roasted and turned into ham sandwiches.
"What on earth do you think you're doing!"
She isn't loud, but to my ears her voice sounds like a foghorn. I look up at her and glare. This is none of her business. I continue the painful process of getting up. She makes the grunting noise again and pushes me back into bed.
"None of your nonsense, Remus," she says. "You can speak to him in the morning."
I stare at her incredulously. Who the hell does this woman think she is?
"We need to sort ourselves out before we can face him."
That sinking feeling in my stomach must be the painful indication that she's right. If we don't resolve things, then this will continue; although it's Evans I'm fighting, it's James I'm punching. I turn to look at him. I shudder. I never want to see him like this again.
I allow her to tuck me back in to bed. I have no choice. Pomfrey must be asleep, or I'd call for her. Evans' hair looks strangely alluring from this angle. Like maple trees in the autumn, like someone's set it on fire. The funny thing is: I hate red.
Red reminds me of blood. It reminds me of death, of terror, of my horrible childhood. Last night in the rain, all I saw was red. Red is the colour of the blood on my hands, from that one time I got loose. Her hair is like an admonition. It reminds me of everything I'd like to forget.
But somehow, she brings new meaning to the colour.
Action, passion, responsibility, bravery, love.
I don' t understand myself.
I hate her, but she symbolises everything I admire. And when did I turn into such a fucking poet? I sigh and settle back into my pillows. Perhaps I should listen. Perhaps I should hear what she thinks. I don't have much time to process these thoughts because she's already opening her mouth to speak.
"I think we have to start being civil to each other."
I nod reluctantly.
"This is important to him. You're his best friend. If you don't approve then he'll never be happy."
She won't even say his name. Coward. Her face is so close to mine I could probably rip her eyes out of their sockets. But I won't. Not until she finishes, anyway.
"What do you say, Remus. Shall we give this a shot?"
She extends her hand to me. We remain motionless for about thirty seconds, although in my head it feels like hours have gone by. Should I take her up on her offer? Oddly enough, I have a sudden mental image of a lamb being taken for sacrifice. I look into her eyes. They are cautious and reserved, nervous, a little annoyed, and…something else. They remind me of our garden back home, like fresh grass in the spring.
I sigh. It's now or never. I look at James again, and my stomach clenches. I want to throw up. Bile bubbles up my throat and threatens to spill. What have I done? I'll do anything to see him happy. I turn to Evans again, and nod slowly.
I take her hand and grasp it as tightly as I am able to. My headache triples in intensity. I moan. Why me?
She leans forward and puts her mouth to my ear. Her hair brushes against my cheek. It's soft and cool and smells like vanilla. Her voice is smooth and silky, like firewhiskey on a winter's night. I hate her.
"Remus," she whispers, and I get shivers down my spine. "I could never come between you. You boys are infinite, you're all so strong and beautiful; so much more so when you're together. I'm the outsider here. It's your choice. You can either accept me, or you can send me away, with my tail between my legs."
I push her away gently, and take her hand. I hope my expression is somber, because frankly I just feel drugged up. This is what James wants. For him, I will keep my temper. For him I will not act rashly, no matter what my gut is telling me. But I want her to realise that this is a once-only opportunity. If she messes up, she will never get this close again. I nod, and I tighten my grip on her hand. This isn't about me. It's about us. The Marauders. My family.
Something wet and warm falls onto my skin. I look up and see her crying. Strangely enough, I am not annoyed; instead I feel relief. I sink back into my pillow. I'm getting drowsy. She leans forward and kisses my forehead.
"Thanks for giving me a chance," she says.
My mouth is dry, and my lips are chapped, but I speak anyway. The first thing I've said since I woke up.