A/N: As an attempted reparation for that abominable wait, here's another chapter! See, I can update in timely fashions! Also, anyone who's still reading this thing, you are FANTASTIC and I LOVE YOU and I would gladly give you anything you desire. (If that anything happens to be this lovely chapter nine.) Unfortunately though, you probably have more lives than that. So you'll just have to live with the chapter and my repeated apologies.
Coming up: Five servings of cheeeeeeeeese.
It's Always the Quiet Ones
I couldn't exactly go against what I'd said earlier in the evening. I couldn't tell him that now, three hours later, I wouldn't mind at all if he liked me. That I would gladly go out with him, if only he returned my feelings.
I settled, after an awkward pause that hopefully didn't give away too much in itself, for changing the subject. "He has no idea that you like him?" I asked, grasping onto a comment I vaguely remembered him making before the awkward topic came up.
He chuckled. "Nope. No idea at all."
"How is that possible?" I wondered aloud. "If he told you not to tell me that he… I mean, you… or something… Ugh, how did you get that out in one sentence? If he told you… not to tell me… that you liked me… I mean, him… if he doesn't… know?"
He blinked in bewilderment. "What?"
"You said he told you not to tell!" I yelled, triumphant that I was once again able to form coherent sentences. "How could he do that if he doesn't know?"
Remus about fell over laughing. "You are so dense!" he snorted. "I didn't know a person could be that dense!"
"Hey!" I cried, offended. "What's so funny, anyway? What am I missing?"
Remus regained control of his giggles and wiped the grin from his face. It kept sneaking back here and there, but he was mostly under control. "I can't tell you," he said.
I let out a groan of frustration. "Okay, if you tell me who it is, I promise not to hurt them," I said, guessing what must be keeping him from confiding in me. I mean, aside from the promise and all.
Another snort. "I doubt you'd hurt him anyway," Remus pointed out.
Another frustrated groan. "Just tell me already!"
"Why do you want to know so much?" Remus repeated.
"I just do, okay!" I snapped. Then I instantly felt guilty for snapping. "I mean, that is… Maybe I want to go beat him up." There, I said it.
Remus stopped laughing. "Why would you do that?" he asked quietly. "Why would you beat up a guy I liked?"
"He obviously doesn't deserve you," I replied, slightly breaking Sirius Black's Rule of Conduct # 28: Never blush.
Remus squinted at me. "Uh, Sirius? Why are you breaking Sirius Black's Rule of Conduct # 28?" he asked. I winced internally. "And why would you think that he doesn't deserve me?"
I strained my brain for an answer that would be socially acceptable. 'No one could possibly deserve you' sounded pretty suspicious, as did 'I'm jealous'. I settled for a shrug.
He squinted at me. "Sirius, are you jealous?" he asked.
"NO!" I answered, perhaps a little too loudly and a little too quickly. Damn, why was Remus so perceptive? Oh, probably because of the blush… and the lack of a witty comeback… and that I was simultaneously breaking about half of my other rules of conduct. Come to think of it, that was probably a pretty dead giveaway.
But! I could still deny it if I wanted to!
Remus was grinning knowingly. Uh oh… I guess the forceful denial wasn't helping my case any either. Wait.
Why would Remus be grinning? Why would he be grinning, if he knew I was jealous of his would-be boyfriend? If it were me, I would be furious. Or at least very freaked out. And running away, or wishing to but staying out of politeness. Certainly not smiling. In fact, I was in this very same position earlier today, and I was hiding up in my room. Until I made him promise that he wouldn't confess his love for me.
Until…. Oh. Ohhh.
I understood. With that understanding came hot tea rushing into my veins, and I think I probably flushed an even darker and more awkward shade of pink. It all made sense! I sat behind Snivellus in potions. And he'd promised me he wouldn't tell me he liked me.
It was me! I was sure of it. I sat up. "Remus," I said, "I take back what I said earlier."
I'm sure he had read every thought that had flashed through my brains in the last minute or so (except maybe the part about tea, because that was a bit of an odd metaphor and he probably wouldn't expect that of me) because he had been staring at me very intently, his smile gone. But when I spoke, he grinned again.
"What did you say earlier?" he asked. He was clearly faking confusion. He knew exactly what I was talking about.
"About the confessions," I clarified, playing along with his ignorance.
His smile got even wider, if that was possible. Any doubt I'd had in my suspicions was washed away. Not that I'd had any to begin with, after it all clicked. But you know.
"Alright then, if you're sure you don't mind," began Remus, and my heart pounded in anticipation, "that changes nothing."
My heart, smile, and will to live were suddenly taken over by gravity and they plummeted straight to the center of the earth.
That changes nothing? But I had been so sure! It had all made sense! How could my admission change nothing?
"Except," he went on. Except? There was an except! "Except that now I can tell you that it's you."
"You bastard!" I cried, launching myself at him. This time, even though he was on my bed again, he didn't have my legs pinned. I was able to tackle him, pinning his struggling form to the blankets. "You knew this whole time, and you were just being difficult!" I hollered, grabbing my pillow and beating him over the head with it. "Why didn't you just say something?"
"Marghlegh!" was Remus's response. I kindly removed the pillow from his face and allowed him to form coherent sentences. "Maybe I was afraid you'd beat me up when you found out!" was the coherent sentence he chose to form.
"Why on earth would I do that?" I gasped.
An "um," combined with a pointed look at the pillow still in my hand got his point across rather nicely, and I grinned sheepishly.
"Was that such an uncalled for reason?" he pressed.
I shook my head. "No, no I guess not. You know me too well."
He shrugged. "Well really, I was kind of expecting a slightly different beating."
"WHAT?" I cried.
"You didn't sound too thrilled with this prospect earlier today," he said, shrugging again.
I would have replied, but just then I realized something. He liked me. I liked him. He was laying there on the bed beneath me (looking rather hot, I must say), and we were just talking. Arguing! That was no good at all. I decided to rectify the situation.
A/N: Oh! Oh wow! It ended! I wasn't expecting that. But, um, that just kind of seemed right. Sorry if you were expecting something more… graphic.