Ballando con Lily
Dancing with Lily
"I've got to go,"
"Where? Prefect meeting again?"
"Bloody hell Remus, I didn't know there were that many meetings you guys had to go to,"
"Ah well. Have fun then,"
"Er yes. Of course,"
Remus Lupin exited the Gryffindor boy's dorm room just before 8 o'clock on Monday night. It was a cold night, away from the warmth of the wood fire heater of the dorm room. He pulled his jacket more securely around his thin frame and left Gryffindor tower without being noticed. It was just the way it was, no one was overly interested in where he was disappearing off to.
If it had been Sirius, or James, dashing out through the Common room to leave at that hour, there would have been little interest in where they were going. It would just be assumed they were going to the kitchens, or to do whatever a partially unsupervised fifteen year old might do at that hour of the night. But it would be noted. If they were all leaving together, along with Peter, their departure would be noted. But Remus Lupin, the thin, pale boy with sad amber eyes, could slip past without any notice of the other Gryffindors. He didn't really care, on this occasion. It just all made it easier for him to get to where he'd rather be.
Remus made his way through the chilly castle to a particular girls' bathroom. He strode quickly, keeping alert for Filch. The excuse of a Prefect's meeting wouldn't work on the caretaker. He ran a hand through his light brown hair, attempting to move it out of his eyes. Almost silently Remus walked down the corridor leading to his destination. He pushed the door open and walked inside.
The bathroom was large and dingy, and showed signs of obvious disuse and neglect. Lily Evans was standing near the rows of cubicles, fiddling with a record player. She turned around when Remus entered, face covered in worry which dissipated when she saw it was her friend who had came in and not a professor.
"So, what'll it be tonight Remus?" she asked him, pulling out two vinyl records "Benny Goodman or Glenn Miller?"
It had been their greatest secret, swing dancing in Moaning Myrtle's lavatory every Monday night when they told their friends they were off to a Prefect's meeting. Not exactly outstanding behaviour of two responsible Prefects, but they had fun. And secrecy was certainly the way to go, with how square adoring swing music was seen to be.
Remus wrinkled his nose as he considered each before coming to a decision "Glenn Miller tonight I think. We've done Goodman three weeks in a row."
Lily nodded and put the record onto the turntable of the record player. It was a Muggle device that she'd brought back to Hogwarts with her after the Christmas break, a present from her parents.
"Hello there Remus," Moaning Myrtle said morosely, floating down from where she'd been sitting, quite out of sight on the high window ledge.
"Hallo Myrtle," he replied. It'd been months since Lily and he had started their weekly dancing sessions, and Myrtle had gotten used to it. Remus even secretly believed that she enjoyed watching them dance, and to listen to the music with them. Lily moved around to all corners of the lavatory, charming the room to be soundproof. She then charmed the lock on the main door shut.
"Being good at Charms certainly does have its advantages," she muttered to herself, putting her wand and heavy jacket down near the record player. Remus peeled off his jacket as well, and placed it near Lily's. The chill radiating out of the stone floor would not be noticed too much once they began dancing.
"So, shall we?" Lily asked
"Definitely, at least then we'll be able to get warm," Remus replied and Lily put the needle onto the record to start the music. She smiled, as they moved to their respective positions to wait for the music to begin playing.
"We really are such terrible squares aren't we," she said grinning at Remus as he took her hands in his own.
"Indeed we are," Remus said solemnly, "but it's fun at least."
The music started and they began to jitterbug along to the pace of the music. Words weren't needed for a time, as they got into the step of the dance and before long were moving with the ease which only comes from practising with the same partner a lot.
"So have you decided what you're going to do about Sirius?" Lily asked as Remus flipped her elegantly. A saddened look passed over the wan boy's face and shone through his amber eyes.
"No," Remus replied, drawing Lily out of the flip and upright once more, "he can really be a prat at times, and well, I'm not too sure if I want to unleash that quality on myself if he doesn't feel the same way,"
"Eventually you'll have to say something," Lily said.
"James said something to you and look where it got him," Remus retorted.
"Hey, James never said he liked me. He just started trying to coerce me into going out with him," Lily clarified.
The dancing pair was silent for a time, just thinking as they moved through the steps to the music.
"It'll all work out in the end," Lily said, trying to keep Remus optimistic. She knew all too well what he could get like if he really got down in the dumps over something. Remus offered her a faint smile to acknowledge her hope that he'd end up happy. But he already knew that loving Sirius was a far more complicated path to walk on than most others he could have taken.
He could have fallen for Lily. It wouldn't have been hard; she was pretty, smart and brave. All things he admired. But they had become more like sister and brother through their year as prefects and through the Monday night dance sessions. Each valued the other highly as the brother or sister they'd never had, to fill that void of sibling love in their lives. So much so, that they would refuse their feelings if they had eventuated.
The other Marauders accepted Remus for being a werewolf because he was their friend, and when it came down to it, running around in their Animagus forms once a month was quite enjoyable for them. Lily accepted him for liking Sirius, and he was eternally grateful for this. As open-minded as the other boys were about the whole werewolf business, he doubted they'd be too open-minded about him fancying one of them.
Remus and Lily continued dancing into the next song, a ballad, moving skilfully through the steps, Lily humming along with the music quietly, both lost in thought. Whilst Remus sought to be accepted for being a werewolf and gay, Lily sought to be accepted for just being Lily. With her other friends, she felt she had too keep up a too-competent, too-brilliant facade. But with Remus she could allow herself to be her normal work-obsessed, slightly insecure, swing-loving self.
Her relationship with her sister Petunia had dissolved when she'd gotten her letter for Hogwarts and not a second after. True, they'd never been overly close sisters, but when it had come down to it, they had still been able to exist normally. And that's how Petunia wanted everything to be; normal. After Lily discovered she was a witch, she had, in Petunia's books, become as abnormal as one could get. She stopped talking to her when she didn't have to. She pretended Lily didn't exist. So Lily had been glad Remus could fill that gap. With Remus she existed, exactly as she was.
"You know," Lily said, breaking the silence between them, "if we were entirely normal, we'd be listening to The Clash, or The Sex Pistols or something like that."
"And sneaking out to do something entirely rebellious," Remus put in, "not swing dancing."
They grinned at each other.
"I don't suppose I'll ever be able to find a straight bloke who can swing as well as you," Lily said with a sigh wistfully as they continued dancing into the next faster tune.
"Well, I bet James could learn," Remus teased, "just don't let him get wind of that wish or he most likely probably will."
Lily laughed, "I really can't see James dancing at all. Especially not with me-he'd probably be such an oaf."
Remus smiled "Well, he is a quidditch player,"
"But just imagine this, Remus, dancing in the snow. Obviously not in a snow bank or anything, but just the ground with a light sprinkling of snow," Lily described, green eyes shining happily in his presence "dancing along to music only the two of you can hear, whilst tiny snow flakes rain down on you,"
"Well, it'd be cold for sure," Remus joked but pictured the scene mentally quite seriously.
In Lily's mind, she was dancing with a handsome man, taller than her, with dark hair and smiling eyes. And he wore round glasses, and-jeez, she thought to herself, quite aghast, flaming James Potter is even taking over my daydreams. God knows why. Aggravating prat he is. She shook herself out of the daydream and concentrated on dancing in the present.
In Remus's mind, he was dancing with a handsome man, slightly shorter than himself, with dark hair and glowing grey eyes. His hair fell into his eyes as they danced, and he moved as he did everything else-elegantly. If only, he thought to himself, but Sirius would never be seen dancing in the snow. Certainly not with me. But before his thoughts could get any more negative, Remus stopped himself and simply enjoyed the daydream wistfully, despite its improbability.
After a few more songs, the record ended and Lily and Remus were utterly exhausted. Remus helped Lily pack the record player and the vinyl's up and Charm them to shrink to a size which would fit into the pockets of her heavy jacket. Lily walked around the room, speaking the counter-Charm to reverse the soundproofing. She unlocked the door, and looked back to Remus who was saying good bye to Moaning Myrtle.
"Bye Myrtle, we'll see you next week then." He said, before walking over to Lily.
"Good bye Remus, Lily." Moaning Myrtle replied with a sigh.
"Cheerio Myrtle!" Lily called, and waved as she slipped out of the door after Remus. They began to walk back to the common-room, both hoping that their slightly flushed faces would return to their usual colouring before they reached their destination.
"So," Lily said to Remus as they stood outside the Fat Lady's portrait, "same time next week?"
"For sure," Remus replied.
They turned from facing each other to the Fat Lady.
"Lexitalionis," Remus said to the Fat Lady, who swung her painting open to admit them back into the common-room.
"'Night Remus," Lily said, walking up the stairs to the girl's dormitories.
"Good night Lily." Remus replied and trudged off to the boy's dorms, head in a cloud of wistful thoughts accompanied by some of that infectious swing music. A week would pass before he'd be able to listen to the music again, but he could wait. It was the waiting that made it worthwhile, that made it special. Remus Lupin admitted himself into his dorm to be greeted by his three friends, one of which he hoped all this waiting to express his feelings to would be worthwhile. The waiting would make it special.