Hello all, and welcome to Infatuation! I'm your author, Crys, and I hope you enjoy the reading today. Just so you know, Crys is not another name for J. K. Rowling, so this is obviously not mine, and I have no intentions of selling it and making any money. Anything you recognize is probably hers.
Now, to Chapter 1: Let's Go Play In the Sun
Remus Lupin sat slouched in History of Magic, the dullest class in the world, staring out the open window wishing he were outside along with the group of third year Ravenclaws in Care of Magical Creatures Class. Sure, he actually had to pay attention in that class, and he was neither a third year nor a Ravenclaw, but anything seemed better than this stuffed up classroom on such a beautiful day. It was only two weeks into the school year, but a full moon was coming up the week after and Remus was feeling slightly restless, as he always did before the full moon- or, so he told himself as he lazily closed his honey gold eyes in a mix of melancholy and self-disgust. More than anything he wanted to be outside so he could think. He always thought better outdoors, a wolf thing he supposed, and he definitely had a problem.
Why couldn't summer have just gone on forever? Never ended? I could've had peace, time to be alone with my twisted wistfulness. Then I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be suffering from these thoughts and the constant, torturous, daily reminders of them. Over the summer, the things Remus had been beginning to feel over the past two years had intensified, and he couldn't deny them anymore: he was attracted, no, in love with Sirius Black. One of his best friends. A guy. A guy with a long term girlfriend, or at least, as long term as one gets with Sirius. He'd never had a reaction like this to anyone else, ever, males and females alike. Sirius made him feel different, more different than he'd ever felt before. Alive. Important. Free. Passionate- let's not forget that, a nasty part of his brain reminded his conscious. He's made me think my life is worth living. They all had- him, and Jamie, and Pete- but Sirius had most of all. At the same time, however, Remus sometimes felt so much love, so much adoration, it hurt. Physically.
Just this morning Remus had struggled against a bit of jealousy as Padfoot's girlfriend, Veronica Borneheld, had plopped down comfortably on the boy's lap as if she owned it and kissed him. Ardently. He'd barely kept himself from storming from the Great Hall. As it was, he'd shaken with repressed emotions as Veronica's slimy lips had claimed Sirius' silken, sinfully full ones. Remus felt his stomach knot with the new wave of envy, and he shook his head, disgusted with himself. What kind of guy lusts after his best friend? As if I didn't have enough problems as a werewolf, now I have to be gay! Selectively gay! Worse than that, if possible, I made a horrible selection. This is wrong. I shouldn't feel like this. I knew it was possible to fall for either sex, because wolves only fall once, and soul mates are soul mates…but he's Sirius. And I make what we have dirty just by thinking these thoughts about him, feeling this way about him. It's not right. I could lose him, his friendship, if he really knew how I thought of him…
Not able to continue thinking along those increasingly depressing lines, he let out his breath in a low hiss. Ever since he'd discovered the depth of his feelings the previous summer, he'd experienced denial and resigned acceptance in turns; at the moment, he was feeling denial, no matter how weak. Straightening defiantly, he tried to draw himself back into the lesson- unsuccessfully. He listened to Binns drone on for about ten seconds, then silently scoffed. We've been learning about goblin rebellions for at least two years now. Doesn't this man know about anything else? He looked out the window again, needing something to aim his jealousy at. "Damn them all," he muttered, annoyed, glaring at the third years. He stared sullenly, not hearing the quiet "Psst!" that persisted behind him, drowning in major self-pity for once. Suddenly something jabbed into Remus's back, jerking him back to the present. Turning sharply, a little annoyed, he faced his other best friend, James Potter. "Cor, Prongs, do you think you poked me hard enough? What is it?" he demanded, rubbing the sore spot in his back.
"What's up, Moony?" James asked mischievously, eyes twinkling with his usual good nature. "Can we pull a prank on them?" he begged, sounding like a little child imploring his mum for sweets before dinner.
Remus blinked, confused. "Them?"
"The people you're damning, of course. Must've done something to you, obviously, you're not usually so moody. So it's payback. What are we going to do?" He sounded like he was asking permission. For Merlin's sake! I am not his Mum-away-from-home!
"Nothing. James, no one's done anything to me. I swear. And it's not like I can't take care of myself."
James raised a skeptical eyebrow. "Then who were you damning, you loon?"
Remus flung his arm towards the open, beckoning window, motioning to the unsuspecting Ravenclaws. "Them! Lucky bastards."
"Ah," James sighed, understanding some of Remus's torment. "To be outside. What a wonderful concept on such an exquisite day…too bad it's lost on Binns. It's an indignity, an outrage! Another priceless September afternoon wasted on his tedious lecturing-"
"Cut the poetry, Prongs, we already know about your extensive vocabulary," Peter whispered from where he was sitting in the desk across the aisle from Remus, rolling his eyes and making a slitting motion against his neck with his index finger. "I'm dying to get out of this hell hole of boredom, let's scram. Any ideas?"
"We could just stand up and walk out," James suggested with a grin. "I doubt he'd notice, that babbling- No wait! We could use Sirius-" Who was snoring loudly from his position behind Peter, drool collecting on his desk. Remus's eyes momentarily flicked to the raven-haired boy, then back to James. "- as a distraction. No doubt Binns would be royally interrupted if Padfoot, still asleep, floated to the front of the room snoring and dancing an Irish jig."
Remus imagined this for a moment and wanted to laugh out loud, fighting the urge as he replied, "Good ideas, Jamie, not ideas that will get us stuck in this class for the rest of the period as well as detention!"
James pouted. "I was only joking," he muttered.
They were silent for a bit, each trying to find a way out of the classroom. "I've got it," Remus said finally, waiting for Peter and James's full attention. "If we could just summon your cloak, Prongs, then we could sneak underneath it and slip out. No one would notice."
"Yeah," James replied sarcastically. "No one would notice if a cloak flew through the door, making it's way to me, causing me to be the object of attention for the rest of the lesson, undermining our entire operation. Then, you're forgetting my hopelessly lost Charms talent."
"Well, I have excellent grades in Charms, and if I focus, I could probably get the thing to come through the already open window instead of the door. No one'll notice. Quite simple really, shall we try?"
James eyes lit up in enthusiasm, and Peter nodded eagerly. Remus plucked his maple wand from his desk, a unique mix with both a unicorn hair and a phoenix feather as the core, pointing out the window. "Accio Invisibility Cloak," he muttered softly, managing to swish and flick perfectly without gathering anyone's attention. In less than five minutes the cloak whizzed noiselessly through the window and into Remus's lap.
"What about Padfoot?" James asked, gesturing to their sleeping friend.
"He's fine where he is," Remus replied quickly, sounding almost harsh. Got to watch that, he told himself when James looked at him curiously. You want to sound unaffected, not pissed off. "It's just, if you could actually manage to wake up Sirius Black, there's bound to be some noise. And that's if! We don't need the attention it'll draw. He needs the sleep anyway. You know he hasn't been doing very well about taking care of himself since we got back. He's overworked and underfed, as well as sleepless. He needs the rest." Peter and James nodded in agreement as Remus berated himself for going on and on like a concerned lover. As if! After a nervous glance around the room, Remus draped the cloak over himself and gathered his books quietly underneath. Standing, he waited for first Peter, then James, and once all three teens were crammed underneath the cloak, they waltzed out of the classroom quickly, bursting into muffled laughter halfway down the corridor. It was too easy. "So, what're we going to do?" Remus asked.
Peter looked up with a bored expression. "I still have to finish that paper on the Importance of Regulating Cauldron Depths for Maloney. How dull. It's due tomorrow, you know, and I only have an inch, maybe less!" He turned to James. "How long is it supposed to be again?"
"At least four feet," James replied with a snigger.
"Oh," Peter sighed wistfully. "Well there goes my afternoon plans. At least I'll get to do it outside. Meet you guys underneath the Old Oak?" he asked, referring to their special meeting place, a large, leafy tree about two hundred paces from the Whomping Willow.
"Fine by me," Remus said. James nodded. Waving, Peter headed away down a different hallway that would eventually lead him outside, and the two remaining Marauders headed up to Gryffindor Tower.
James looked at Remus. "Did you finish that essay?" he asked.
"Yup," Remus replied, grinning. Poor Wormtail. Of the group, he and Sirius had the worst study habits, and it was even worse for Peter because he simply wasn't as brilliant as Sirius; James and Remus, on the other hand, liked to get their work completed quickly and usually did it together.
James grinned in return. "Game of wizarding chess, then?" he challenged. "Unless of course, you're afraid you might lose…"
"You're on," Remus cried. "There's no way you can beat me, get over it. I. Am. Invincible. The Master!"
"You wish," James retorted. "Let's go put our books up, then we can head on down. Is the game upstairs, or outside stashed in the tree?" he asked.
"Fiddlesticks," Remus said to the Fat Lady, who raised her eyebrows at the truant students, but swung open nonetheless. "Upstairs. I'll fetch it." And so they missed out on a whole two hours of History of Magic, and Remus temporarily forgot about his tormentor.
Lily Evans sat across the classroom, tuning out Binns' useless and monotonous repartee of common goblin rebel forces. It's not as if I haven't read all of this in our book at least four different times! And that's just this year. Her attention drifted to her good friend Remus, who was glancing around the classroom quickly in a guilty manner. Then suddenly, to Lily's astonishment, he wasn't there at all. She barely remembered to hold in a gasp, which would've attracted her closest female friend, Joni Crestmont's attention. Watching intently, her green eyes donned a predatory gleam as first Peter Pettigrew and then James Potter, two of Remus's best friends, also disappeared. She shifted her gaze to Sirius Black, sure he would be the next to go despite the fact that he seemed to be taking his afternoon nap. After about ten minutes of waiting, she leaned back into her chair, thinking hard. Ah, so they left one of their little Marauders behind. I wonder what that is all about? It's almost legend, the way those four stick together- surprising I can have two of them for friends, and don't know the other two at all. Something to ponder on a rainy day, the inner workings of the Marauders. She sighed regally, deciding she'd wake Sirius up after class let out if he hadn't already managed to make it back to the real world by himself.
She turned her thoughts away from the sleeping teen to something else that had been bothering her. Remus hadn't been behaving normally, that much she knew. He'd gone off for summer vacation perfectly fine, but only two weeks back into fifth year and she could tell something was different.
Mind you, he's been guarding something from me for at least the past few years, other than his 'condition' of course. I'll have to talk to him about it, see if I can get him to confide in me. I doubt it'll work though. I mean, we've been really good friends for how long? Let's see, since the train ride back to Hogwarts after Christmas break in our first year; that's three and a half years of being almost best friends, and he hasn't told me about being a werewolf- I've known since before we became friends at that! He told the Marauders second year, but not me. If he doesn't trust me with his secret, then what do we have? Nothing- friendship is based on trust, and he has absolutely no trust in me. I think I'll talk to Jo about this, she'll give me her true opinion on the matter. I won't mention the werewolf part, of course, I'll just ask her about me- am I intimidating? Snobbish? Is there a reason why one of my closest friends can't trust me with the truth? Does he think I'm just a heartless bitch who'll turn her back on him and blab to everyone I know? Why that little no good- oh shit, Lillian Judith! Stop speculating, you'll just think the worst, get pissed, and then there'll be trouble. If there was one thing Lily couldn't control, it was her temper, and she definitely lived up to the hot-tempered red head stereotype, although she'd never admit it.
The bell rang, interrupting her thoughts. Binns finally shut up, closed his notes and said, "An essay about Ministry recognized disorganized goblin rebel breakouts, from 1356 to present day due next week. At least three feet." With that, the old ghost turned and walked out of the room through the wall. Snapping into action, Lily gathered her things and shoved them into her bag. Joni stood near the door, pretending to toss her long blonde hair impatiently, hazel eyes sparkling.
"Come on, Lil! We have a free
period next, and I want to get out of these suffocating black robes and into
the sunshine. Up for a game of hide and seek?"
"Hide and seek?" Lily snorted. "What are we, first years?"
"You know you want to play," Joni teased impishly.
"Go on ahead, I'll catch up with you in our dorm. I'll play if you can find at least three others to join us, and they have to be in fifth year or up, no ickle firsties," she promised, giggling slightly at Joni's mock horror.
"No firsties, huh? Well, I guess my boyfriend's out," she pouted. "See you!" Turning, she headed out of the door.
Shaking her head at her silly friend, Lily made her way over to Sirius, whom everyone had left alone. It was well known the waking of Sirius Black was a hopeless task. She readjusted her bag on her shoulder and prodded him gently. When that didn't work, she shook him slightly, only making him grumble incoherently about something that sounded a lot like 'cookies', 'mummy', and 'I promise no one will be hurt- much'. Raising one eyebrow elegantly, she gave up on shaking him. "Sirius Black, wake up! Class is over," she demanded in a singsong voice, growing a little impatient. Flipping out her wand, she was about to mutter 'enervate' when she got a better idea. "Hydro Jettalius." Water shot out of the end of her wand into Sirius's face. His eyes flew open and he jumped, sputtering indignantly.
"What the hell- Lily! What's your problem? Honestly, can't someone get a bit of shuteye without being bothered! Shouldn't you be off taking notes, or brown nosing, or something?" he snapped, glaring up at her.
Lily sniffed huffily, rolling her eyes in indignation. "Okay, Sirius, before you get all over my back, I was trying to do you a favor." Green eyes flashing dangerously, she gestured wildly around the empty classroom. "Class. Is. Over. Everyone's gone. They were just going to leave you here, and you know what? Next time, I will too. Excuse me for breathing, I think I'll remove myself from your exalted presence as I have better things to do with my afternoon." Turning on her heel, she stormed out of the room, leaving a confused and slightly annoyed Sirius behind.
And that is all for now, my doves! Review if you enjoyed it and want to read more. Review if you hated it, flames accepted with relish! I want to be a writer someday, so this is sort of a test drive, if you will and I really need feedback on my skills (or maybe lack-thereof).