Loved & Lost
Notes: Ohmigosh a new fic from Sarah! Enjoy it.
I've always been told that "it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." I have yet to decide whether or not I believe this. Both sides seem to have equally convincing arguments.
I find the first part, at the very least, horribly fitting.
I first met Lily Evans in our first year at Hogwarts. We were only eleven years old, then.
Naturally, at eleven, I wasn't in love with the girl. I did, however, immediately notice her striking beauty, her long, scarlet hair and pair of brilliant green eyes. Her hair had the slightest curl to it, waving and dancing down her back with the delicate scent of flowers, and her eyes... they had the tendency to pierce whoever she would look at; they showed a thousand different emotions or none at all when she was trying to be calm and collected. I also noticed, as we were both sorted into Gryffindor and attended all the same classes, that she was quite intelligent. She had incredible magic talent that rivaled those of "pure blood". She barely had to try, and she succeeded at all that she did—from Potions to Charms. It was obvious that many of our fellow students envied her.
I found myself longing to get to know Lily; I wanted to know everything about her, anything she could tell me. She was an intriguing creature, as she was gorgeous and smart. I wanted to know what she was thinking of as she tickled her chin with the end of her quill, and what she was imagining when her stunning emerald eyes were staring off into space...
However, I put my own feelings on hold when I met three boys who soon became my best friends: Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and, of course, James Potter.
James Potter was also fascinated by Lily Evans, though he hardly kept it a secret as I did. It was common knowledge, not only to the four of us, but almost the entire school, that he fancied her. She was, therefore, "off limits" to anyone who considered himself a "good" friend of James Potter.
I was just happy to have friends, at last. I was more concerned with keeping things that way, so I downplayed all feelings I had for Lily. I put almost all of my effort into keeping my lycanthropy a secret, so that I hardly paid attention to her, hardly worried about my feelings or tried to get to know her. After all, attending Hogwarts had been my fresh start—I was able to go to school without anyone but the staff knowing that I was a werewolf.
At the age of twelve, however, in our second year, my friends discovered what I was. They fancied themselves quite clever to have figured it all out; I, on the other hand, was utterly horrified.
"You're a werewolf, aren't you, Remus?" James inquired.
I remember the question clearly, my heart racing as I stared at my three friends: James's expression looked as though he was bordering somewhere between curiosity and fascination; Peter, meanwhile, looked downright terrified, whereas Sirius looked mildly disgusted.
In a split second, I made my decision—I would run, run from the only people who had ever been my friends. Each of their expressions seemed ingrained in my head. James's look was something new, but disconcerting all the same; I desperately thought how he must have seen me as some sick sort of science experiment, some fascinating creature not fit to befriend. Peter's response was most normal, as I'd seen the fear I instilled in witches and wizards many times. And Sirius... his look was the worst, but what should I have expected? He was raised by a pureblood family of Slytherins who thought that half-breeds like me weren't fit to breathe.
I raced up to the dormitory, grabbing my rucksack.
"What are you doing?" James asked, panting in the doorway, staring at me.
"Leaving," I murmured, turning to face him.
"Leaving?" he repeated as though it was an unheard of concept.
"Yes," I said simply. "I'll get my trunk later. Please... move out of the way."
"I won't let you leave." He stared at me intently, and I returned his gaze. I caught a glimpse of Sirius behind him, avoiding my eyes, and Peter, trembling slightly in fear.
I reached for my wand, but James was quicker than me; he pointed his wand directly at me. I stumbled backwards slightly, back into the room we shared. I seated myself on my bed.
"Why in the name of Merlin would you want to leave?" he asked me.
"Because who in their right mind would want to share a dormitory with a werewolf?" I responded angrily. "I—I'm a monster."
"No you're not."
The response came unexpectedly from Sirius. The three of us stared at him.
"You're not a monster, and you're a bloody idiot if you think otherwise."
I couldn't think of anything to say to him, or any of them; James was suddenly half-laughing his appreciation for Sirius's statement, and even Peter managed a squeak of agreement. They wanted me to stay, after all. They didn't care that I was a werewolf.
In fact, a quarter of an hour later, they convinced me to let them try to help. We sat in the room, working on ideas, both serious and joking. They wanted to do anything they could to help me with my "furry little problem".
It was the first time I felt truly accepted. They knew I was a werewolf and they couldn't care less. No longer did I feel like I had to hide something. They knew everything and it hardly fazed them.
I became determined to keep my friends, no matter what I had to do; it seemed more important than ever. I vowed that I would never, especially then, fall for Lily. Any feelings I had for her would be kept secret, if only to keep James at my side.
For the first two years we knew each other, I only made polite conversation with Lily as we chatted about simple things like our classes. I convinced myself that I respected her and nothing more; I harboured no deeper feelings for her.
I didn't realise how hard it would be to keep my promise to myself; I didn't know how easy it would be to fall for her.
I didn't see that I was fighting a losing battle.