This is the sequel to my story Second Best. While I don't think you necessarily need to read Second Best, it probably helps due to references to events in the first story. Neither story is that long, easily doable in one sitting. So, yes, onwards and upwards. Hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter world, nor to I have any rights to anything I'm writing about except a couple of my own characters. I do not make money off of writing these stories. However, JKR does encourage fanfiction, so I'm taking advantage of that.
AN: Oh, and watch out for the final installment in this trilogy. It's called Different Sides of the Line. It should be up within a couple hours!!!
They walked comfortably beside each other on the snowy road through Hogsmeade, breathing in the crisp, November air. They weren't talking but their hands were clasped tight together. Remus would glance at her every once in a while and was pleased to find that she had a small smile on her lips. Sometimes he still couldn't believe that she was finally his. She was the bravest, craziest, prettiest girl at Hogwarts. She was also the only girl to ever, ever dump Sirius Black. He smiled at the memory of it, he'd witnessed the messy break-up with a secret joy in his heart. She'd smacked him upside the head with a book before punching him in the face and kneeing him in the groin. It had been beautiful. But it wasn't like he didn't care about Sirius either, Sirius was one of his best friends, it's just that, he'd deserved it and there hadn't been any lasting damage.
They were heading back up to castle, having already bought their assorted items and having an awkward lunch at Madam Puddifoot's, when she tugged on his arm and they began walking up the path that led to the Shrieking Shack. He bit his lip, but didn't say anything, as they stomped through the ankle-deep snow. The Shrieking Shack was the last place he wanted to go in his free time; the last place he wanted to go anytime. It was his reminder, proclaiming to the world, that there was something evil about him; that there was something that he couldn't control inside of him; that sometimes he needed to be locked up.
And he couldn't control it, not really. He'd managed to fend it off once, to pause it's ruthless attack to save the girl beside him; the only girl he'd ever loved. But it had returned with a vengeance. That had been the worst night of his life and by far the worst full moon he'd ever had. The beast had been furious that it had been bested by the boy and had been sure to take it out of him after his friends had gotten away. He'd had to stay in the infirmary for nearly a week. He'd spent Halloween in the infirmary.
But that was neither here, nor now as they crested the hill and the Shrieking Shack came into view in all his dilapidated glory. He stared at, as though daring it of accusing him of being evil, but it sat there, empty and cold as usual. He realized she was wrapping her arms around his back and resting her cheek against his chest. His arms wrapped around her by instinct, one on her back, the other running through her hair. Her hair drove him crazy. It was just that particular shade so that, while they sat in the Common Room at night, it shone like liquid gold in the fire light. He'd always loved her hair.
They both stared at the Shrieking Shack for a few minute, hugging each other tight before she finally broke the silence. "So . . . they just lock you up in there every month?"
His lips grazed the top of her head and he nodded, "Yeah. Since I can't control it, they have to."
"When . . . when were you bitten?" She asked.
He shrugged uncomfortably, why did she want to talk about this now? Weren't they supposed to be having a good time enjoying each other's company, instead of dredging up the memory that he wasn't just an innocent school boy without responsibility?
"When I was four." He answered stiffly.
The silence dragged on, but his mind was racing. He had to get off this subject, immediately. This wasn't how their date was supposed to go. They weren't supposed to linger on this. "You never answered me, when I told you that I loved you."
He felt her head move and her lips grazed against his exposed neck. He shivered and pulled her closer. "I was just so mortified that we'd discussed creating silver woks for the purpose of taking out werewolves when you're a werewolf yourself." She whispered.
He knew he was blushing with their proximity, he could feel her warm breath against the cold skin of his neck. He forced himself to focus. That hadn't been the answer he'd wanted. "Oh? I would have told you that night, if you'd slowed down. You went directly from the article in the Daily Prophet to knocking them out with woks. I felt a bit uncomfortable revealing myself after that."
"Entirely understandable." She laughed. Her laughter was beautiful, it seemed to fill him up and make him laugh as well.
"But you still haven't come to the topic I wanted to discuss." He said after.
She stepped away from him and looked up into his face. Ah, those wide, innocent, blue eyes made him feel like she could see right through him. "Remus, you know I like you. I wouldn't have come here with you if I didn't." She said quietly before diverting her eyes.
Yes, she liked him, but he loved her. He'd loved her for so long and he just wished that his feelings could be returned with equal strength. But they weren't, he knew. Until a few weeks ago, she'd been hopelessly in love with Sirius. He wondered if she'd even known about him being hopelessly in love with her. No, of course she hadn't. She'd only had eyes for Sirius. Give it time, he told himself.
"It's alright. Never mind. Let's just go, it's getting cold out." He said as he began walking back down the path.
"Remus!" She'd caught a hold on the front of his coat and pulled him back to face her. Before he could respond, one arm had snaked up around his neck and she'd pulled herself up onto her tip-toes, pressing her lips against his. His mind went blank for a moment, before realization came flying back. She was kissing him. He'd kissed her once before, in his dazed, semi-conscious state after fighting back the werewolf, but it had been nothing like this. He could taste her lip gloss, watermelon flavored maybe, but he couldn't think of that. His hand was cradling the back of her head, silky, golden strands slipping through his fingers as he kissed her back. He'd wanted this all day. She pulled away, "I just don't know yet, okay. So quit being such a prat."
He laughed before descending on her lips again. The connection that had been made needed to be maintained. He needed her lips. They'd been "going out" for almost two weeks, but he'd spent the first in the infirmary and for the second, their relationship hadn't progressed past holding hands and chaste kisses on the cheek. At time's he'd felt jealous, he knew she'd made out with Sirius numerous times during their short relationship. He pushed the thoughts out of his head, don't dwell on that now, he was becoming dizzy with the excitement of it.
"Lupin!" He jerked back at the sound of his name. Standing in the middle of the path, surrounded by a group of his friends, stood Jackson Finch; another boy who had been in love with Aislin for years. "You're going with Remus Lupin?"
She stepped away from him and for a moment, he felt empty. He needed to reestablish the connection. He needed to hold her. He banished the thoughts, and paid closer attention to what was going on. She hadn't responded, so Remus studied the intruders.
Jackson was surrounded by a group of four other guys. He realized this was most of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team. Jackson Finch was the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain and was most certainly full of himself for being made so. He had short, dark brown hair and brown eyes. He wasn't as tall as Remus, but he was definitely thicker. Jackson was a beater and fit the mold perfectly. He was nearly all muscle, but so was Remus, just more toned and spread a bit more thinly.
"So what if I am?" Aislin snapped, crossing her arms and raising an eyebrow as though daring him to protest. He dared to.
"Him? What about me? Or is this just another plot to get close to Sirius. I heard he'd dumped you, trying to win him back I suppose?" Jackson said with a sneer worthy of a Slytherin.
She snorted, "Ha, check your notes. I dumped Sirius, and what about you?"
"No girl in this school has ever dumped Sirius, so I know you wouldn't. You've been in love with him forever."
"She did," Remus said with a smile, "It was messy."
Jackson continued. "And about me, did you ask? I have liked you for years and you've never given me a date. And now I find you here, with him, when he's never asked you out before."
Silence fell over the group for a moment, "I'm not quite following your point, Jackson. What is it you're trying to tell me?" She asked.
"You should be with me, not that bookworm, trying to wriggle your way back into Sirius' good books!" He snapped.
"I don't like you, and I've told you this many times." She hissed, grabbing Remus' hand as she began to stomp off..
As they passed the Ravenclaws, sudden confusion broke out. Remus saw Jackson grab Aislin roughly by the arm and pull her away, her hand slipped out of his and he watched Jackson roughly grab her face and kiss her. Something rose up in him, something territorial. Something the wolf inside of him was providing with glee. He attempted to dive at the other boy, but Jackson's posse grabbed him and threw him down, landing a few well placed punches.
This led to a brawl. He was fury again and he could feel the beast inside him egging the violence on. He was a whirlwind of punches and kicks as he struggled to beat them back. He had to get back to her. He had to make that foolish git pay for what he'd done.