you tell me what you're thinking of?
Would you be an outlaw for my love?
If it's so, then let me know,
If it's no then I can go,
and I won't make you...
- Big Star, Thirteen
At this rate, I will never be able to find anything out about Remus Lupin. He talks and what he says is interesting and I like to listen to his voice because it's rather soothing but he talks about things other than himself. I wonder if he does this on purpose or if he's really that awkward and shy. I suppose I don't make it easy for him or anyone else to speak to me. If I were in his close circle of friends, would I know more about him? If I were as fun-loving as Potter, would I know what makes Remus the happiest? If I were as sensitive as Black, would I know what was most important to Remus? If I was as attached as Pettigrew, would I know what Remus likes to do in his quiet, alone hours?
I was none of those things, though. I had to make do with what I had. All I had right now was him walking next to me. He was going on about astronomy, about something we learned about the moon. I pretended that I was watching my footing every time he glanced over at me when really I was studying his face while he looked ahead, away from me. I let him go on ahead of me, a bit. I let him go on talking. His voice really was comforting. His voice always sounded so intelligent. He could be going on about the most ridiculous and childish thing, but he sounded grown up, so much more than others our age did. I liked this maturity. I found it attractive.
He stopped to point something out in the sky. He didn't notice that I moved closer to him, or maybe he did and decided not to make a big deal of it. He could very well feel as frightened and as tense as I do now, but had a better way of hiding it. He looked at me for a moment, regarding my closeness, but still going on as if this was very important information. The thing is, I've studied this section countless times and could give a just as effective demonstration as he was; perhaps even better, although he certainly knew what he was talking about. Yes, tell me, Remus. I nodded at his observation.
He didn't falter in his speech. At this point, if I was in his place, I would have cracked. I would have yelled at him and wondered what the hell his insistent staring was all about. I would have asked him to stop so that I continue on with my observation. Maybe even to be a bit dramatic about it, I would stomp off in frustration so that he would come following me. And then, maybe I would yell at him some more and belittle him. It's what I do. But I didn't want to belittle him. No, I couldn't belittle him because at this moment, he seemed so... kissable. I wanted to kiss him. I wanted to kiss him or knock him down just to touch him in some way, because not touching him was wretched. It was miserable. He was absolutely adorable right now, in only the way that Remus Lupin could be adorable and it made me want to be sick. But before I was sick, I had to find out...
I nearly knocked him over with it's quickness. It was right on the cheekbone. Right there where I had been aiming for a good minute. I wanted a reaction, but he was barely able to give me one. He looked at me, surprised, but not particularly mortified. He just stood there. He could have said something. Honestly, he could have said to go away and it would have been better than just standing there. But, I instantly recognized the expression on his face. He didn't want to move because... there could have been someone watching. I didn't look around. I didn't want to know if there had been someone there because there was. I knew it and he knew it, but acknowledging it would be wrong. It didn't matter who it was, but just that there was someone. This place was infested. There was always someone there to witness moments like these. In your lowest and highest moments someone was standing by with a dumb expression on their face. And wasn't it absolutely perfect? Severus Snape, Snivellus, kissing a boy and not just some bloody Slytherin, but some horrid Gryffindor. I couldn't have possibly kissed anyone worse. But it wasn't wrong.
I opened my mouth, because an apology was in order, but I couldn't even pronounce anything. I knew that if I stayed there a moment longer, I would have vomited on Remus' shoes. The kiss was embarrassing enough. I didn't need for anything else to happen in front of him. I had done enough, hadn't I? It was okay for me to be ridiculed over this, but there was no need for him to be. I hoped that whoever saw us had enough sense to keep quiet. I really wanted to say something, to call myself an idiot for thinking he could ever possibly want me to kiss him, but I couldn't. I ran away because I'm a baby.
It was doubtful that I could make it to the washroom before spewing out the entire contents of this afternoon's tea, but I tried. I just about made it to the entrance, but there was someone in my way. Sirius Black, looking a bit pale, a bit concerned, but mostly surprised to see me. He opened his mouth to say something foul, most likely, but just as I passed him, I stopped in my tracks and let the vomit come out. Surely, that would satisfy him. He could go off and tell Potter and Pettigrew... and Remus... what he witnessed. It would probably keep him going for days. They could discuss it at length. They could pass me in the hall, making retching noises, or better yet, throw vomit flavored jelly beans at me. But it would be worse than that even. I hadn't noticed that when I stopped to vomit, that I was about to vomit over someone's shoes. I recognized the shoe style and the green socks. I had been sick on a Slytherin, my own housemate. I would have to live with this in the dormitory, now. I would have to crawl in a hole and die.
"There have been recent developments in memory charms --- you may want to take a look at this week's Witch Weekly ---"
"Madame Pince, I dare not open that magazine in fear that my intelligence be insulted."
"Well," the librarian shook her head, "make sure that your memory charms don't work too well that you don't return your books."
"I'll be sure to return them before I do any damage." I grabbed the Witch Weekly hastily.
"That's a boy..."
I signed out the books and ran from the library in fear of seeing that Remus boy. It's true, I was avoiding him. I didn't want to, really, but I couldn't face him. Instead of meeting in the library or in the courtyard, I made sure that I was nowhere around those places. It was terribly obvious, though. I'm certain that he's seen my blurry figure run past, or the expression of terror on my face if I accidentally shared a corridor with him. He might want to say something to me. He might want to say that it's better off we not be friends. He might want to tell me that I'm an awful person. He might want to tell me he wished I never existed. But worst of all -- and by worst, I mean best --- he might want to kiss me, too.
I felt like I was in a time trap. The scene played over and over in my mind. His hand was pointed to something in the sky. I looked up, to be polite, but I only placed my stare back to his face. To his cheek. The force that brought me to his cheek has not left. If anything, it's worse. It's worse because at that moment, I was just seeking a reaction from him. Yes, it was more than that, I realize that now, but if I didn't care what his reaction would be, I wouldn't have done it. Now I know how Remus Lupin reacts to things... he reacts in his own mind. He didn't reach for me and kiss me back, he just stood there and I'm sure that his mind was racing but he was absolutely frozen. And that is how he is time and time again. That is how he is with his friends. He's no different around me than he is around his friends. I thought he was... didn't I even say that once to him? Didn't I once say that he was more like himself when he was with me? Didn't I once think that I was special and more deserving of his attention than say, his friends?
Let me learn how to erase this from my memory. Surely, I could learn on my own. They're not going to teach this in class. They never teach any of the good stuff. They teach out of moldy books written by mediocre wizards. They leave out the details. What I learn in class is nothing compared to what I learn on my own. I would leave this school if I could tolerate being at home. Imagine having all the time in the world to study what I wanted to and not have to worry about what the teachers aren't telling me or the students that can't learn so they keep the rest of the class behind.
I don't need to erase everything. I just need to erase that moment and perhaps any time he's touched me in a playful way or smiled some gorgeous smile or in any general way made me feel happy. That way, when I look at him, I can look at him as I do his other friends and not care if bad things were to happen to him. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that it's him I'm worried about and not myself. I'm worried about what he's thinking. Maybe if I just erase this all from his memory this would all be settled. He wouldn't have to be strange about it. I wouldn't have to avoid him and be even more strange. We could pick up where we left off. But not before I worked on this memory charm...