A/N: Sorry? I know that "sorry" doesn't quite cover the whole "not updating for months" thing, but... well, I've sort of given up on this story. That's no excuse for not updating, I know. I DIDN'T ABANDON IT, no, it's just that I might do one more chapter and then an epilogue. Again, sorry about the not updating thing. But you know... homework... and other stressful things. I'm sorry, I know, I just... it ... yeah yeah just read.
Did I mention the word sorry?
I spent a while just working on some homework that had been piling up over the past few weeks. Well, I tried to work on it… I mean, my mind really wasn't in a place where concentration was a reasonable feat. But it's the effort that counts, right? Right.
But soon enough I got tired, and fell asleep amidst quills and parchment, and was woken by Kayleigh the next morning.
"Layla, are you trying to make my job more difficult? How am I supposed to make you undeniably attractive when you look like you haven't slept in a week?"
I shrugged, and she rolled her eyes.
"Fine then," she said, "if you're going to be difficult, then I'm not letting you out of this room until this evening."
"What! But – freedom! Fresh air! Happiness! People! Socialization!"
"You should have thought of that before. Now … rest. Or something like that."
Oh well this would be wonderful.
I spent the day cleaning, actually. It's amazing what you can find in your trunk when you haven't looked all year.
Kayleigh brought me food a couple times, and got all giddy, saying, "Keeping you stuck up here all day is just going to make it so much better when he finally sees you!"
Whatever. I just shoved some muffin in my mouth and kept cleaning.
Eventually, though, she made me stop, get up, and shower. It was time. I was surprisingly nervous, so I tried to talk myself through it calmly, working out some logic to calm my nerves. What I ended up doing was convincing myself that nothing was going to happen.
After finishing my hair, Kayleigh walked over to her wardrobe to get my dress.
"Prepare yourself!" She was literally squealing. The other girls in the room glanced over to see what was up.
The dress she pulled out was light blue, a halter top, with what looked (and ended up being) a dangerously low neckline. My eyes bulged. I couldn't wear that! I shook my head and held out my hand, stepping back away from her.
"No no no no no no no no no Kayleigh I can't do this you can't make me do this oh my god Kayleigh what the hell am I doing no I can't wear that!"
She laughed. Stupid sodding girl.
"Come here, Lay, put it on."
I groaned. This could not be good.
"Oh! And here are your shoes!"
"Kayleigh," I said in my Don't Mess With Me voice, "I can't wear heels."
She just shoved the dress and heels at me, and pushed me towards the bathroom. "Either you change, or I force you to."
Well, it would seem that I really had no choice in the matter, so… I suppose I could just try it, right? I mean, I could always take it off, and…
Woah. I had pulled on the dress and looked in the mirror, and … it wasn't that bad. I mean, with the hair and the dress and the necklace she'd given me, it actually wasn't that bad. And after a couple minutes of arguing with myself, I realized that I couldn't exactly wear sneakers with the dress, so… I put on the shoes. Hey, at least the gave me a couple inches in height, yeah? I was so going to fall.
I walked out, and cleared my throught. "Kay. I'm done."
She looked at me, and squealed again. Shrieked. "THIS IS SO GOING TO WORK! Gods, Lay, even I want to sleep with you right now."
There were some murmurs of approval from the other sixth year girls, which is pretty much the most I've ever gotten out of them, so I suppose that's saying something.
But now, I realized, I actually had to go downstairs. Besides the fact that I was so going to fall flat on my face, I also had to face Remus. And remain composed.
Deep breaths, right? Right.
Kayleigh came over to me in her dress, looking quite nice, and looped her arm through mine. "Layla, you're going to be fine. Now let's go."
She walked us to the top of the stairs, and called down, "Sirius Black you better be down there waiting for your date!"
I rolled my eyes, and started going down. Slowly, now.
The first one I saw was James. He was leaning against the back of a couch, arms crossed over his chest, looking in the other direction. Then Sirius, standing with his hands in his pockets. His eyes met mine and he smiled a wicked grin, elbowing James and nodding in my direction. James looked up, seemingly stunned. Why is it that they're always so surprised when I put on a dress?
And then there was Remus. He was standing just out of view so that by the time I saw him we were nearly at the bottom of the stairs, and he stood stiffly with his hands in his pockets. Ours eyes met for a brief moment, but he seemed to be preoccupied with … the rest of my body. It made me vastly uncomfortable, to be honest – what with him standing there undressing me with his eyes. I gripped Kayleigh a little harder, silently asking her to make sure I didn't fall while I was busy staring at Remus. His eyes traveled back to mine, and I wished I knew what he was thinking. One thing seemed clear enough though: lust.
I couldn't stop staring at him. That is, until Sirius popped up in my line of view and kissed me on the cheek.
"Layla. Good to see you looking so ravishing this evening."
I nodded. "Thanks, Sirius, you're looking pretty good yourself."
"No really, Layla," he said, dropping his voice and leaning close to my ear, "you look unbelievable."
I rolled my eyes, blushing slightly. I'm not good with taking compliments.
"Shall we?" He held out his arm, as Kayleigh had done, and I nodded, looping mine through his. And off we went to the Great Hall.
It was a couple songs into the evening, and I was getting a little antsy. I was very proud of the fact that I hadn't yet fallen or tripped, but Remus was still over with Kayleigh, and dances aren't really my thing.
"Siriusssss." I was in full blown whine mode. "It's not workinnggggg."
He sighed. "Layla, you know, I'm relatively insulted by your lack of trust. Just follow my lead."
He sort of shoved me in the direction of Remus and followed closely behind. I stiffened when Remus' eyes met mine, and would have turned and run away if Sirius hadn't been standing directly behind me, holding me firmly in place. "Stay, Layla."
"Moony! Kayleigh! What do you know… Hey, Moony, you wouldn't mind if I stole your date for a dance, would you? No? Good, good. Here, you can have mine."
Ah, to be loved by Sirius. He and Kayleigh walked away and I was left standing awkwardly with Remus. He cleared his throat and shifted uncomfortably.
Well this wasn't weird. I just sort of stood there, trying not to fidget. Ok whatever, if he wasn't going to do anything, I was going to go get something to eat.
"Ok, right, well, I'm gonna… go… food…" I turned to walk away, but he grabbed my arm.
"Hey, wait, I'll come with you." He smiled, and I felt my stomach twist.
We walked over to a table and sat down, picking at the food that sat in the middle of the table. Candy, mostly, but I love candy. He had taken off his robe at some point earlier, and he now loosened his tie and rolled up his sleeves.
I looked back on to the dance floor, trying to keep myself from staring at Remus. Prongs was dancing with Lily, good for him. He really is a good guy, if only she had realized that a few years ago…
Remus shifted suddenly, and I looked at him with a "what?" look. He looked like he was trying to make a decision. He stood up, shoving his hands in his pockets, and nodded in the direction of the door.
"Where?" I gave him a confused look.
"For a walk."
Apparently, that was enough of an explanation for him, because he started walking, evidently expecting me to follow. Which, of course, I did. I caught up and matched my pace with him until we were outside of the Great Hall. He stopped.
"I thought we were going for a walk?"
"I just wanted to get away from all those people," he shrugged, trying to make it seem like it wasn't a big deal.
I nodded, crossing my arms in front of my chest and looking down, attempting to interest myself in the pattern of the tiles on the floor. This was awkward.
He cleared his throat, and I looked up.
"You look amazing, you know."
I blushed and looked away, trying to suppress a grin. "Thanks."
He went back to silence for a while, still seeming like he was trying to make a decision. He opened his mouth to speak a few times, but just closed it.
"Remus, what's going on. Why are we out here, and what's up with you."
"I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to do something."
I raised an eyebrow.
"Well, it's not a question of whether or not I want to, it's more of a question of… whether or not the repercussions will outweigh the … er, benefits."
I nodded, pretending to understand. I was doing my best to appear calm and composed when really my mind was screaming "OH fucking sodding hell what am I doing out here alone with Remus and oh bloddy fuck I'm going to kill Sirius for putting me into the situation and oh god why am I freaking out I've grown up with Moony this shouldn't be so hard and why is this so hard and—"
"So have you decided yet?" I asked, breaking the silence and trying to calm my internal monologue.
He smirked, nodding, "Yeah. Yeah, I think I have."
"… And are you going to tell me what it is you've decided to do?" This was getting annoying. I hate these stupid little games.
And then he was there in front of me and he was leaning in and he leaned ever so gently down to whisper in my ear, "Layla Armone, I'm going to kiss you now."
And I think right then I almost died and then he was kissing me and my arms were around his neck and his hands were on my waist and I was against the wall and oh gods I could barely stand and his lips were on my neck and his hands were traveling and his mouth was back on mine and—
He was intoxicating.
I think I could have stayed like that forever.
It just felt so right. It was the perfect mix of passion, excitement, and… comfort. And amazing…ness. Which is now a word.
I don't know how long we stayed like that, snogging outside of the Great Hall, but I wish it could have been longer. Eventually, though, a girl needs to breathe, I suppose, and we broke apart, panting unevenly.
He shushed me. "Shhh, Lay, I just… it needed to be done."
"You realize that if you tell me we can't be together after that then you're officially the meanest human being and I'll hate you forever. Right?"
He sighed, rolling his eyes. I think he would have been mad if … what had just happened hadn't just happened. It was making us giddy. But instead of yelling at me, he just smiled, leaned his forehead against mine, and kissed me gently. "I know, I know."
I hated to be the "so-what-does-this-mean" girl, but I really had to know. "So are we…?"
"Yes, Layla. I'll be yours if you'll be mine."
I laughed. "Remus Lupin I have no idea what that's supposed to mean."
We just couldn't stop smiling. He shrugged, "That's okay. You really don't have to."
Eventually, we had to go back inside, and as much as we tried to play it cool we definitely were smiling too much for anyone to believe that nothing had happened. We couldn't even find out dates, though (ah, Sirius and Kayleigh…), so we just ended up sitting at a table. And when I say sitting I mean flirting, in a touchy-feely way.
Prongs wandered over with Lily, and they sat down, pretending not to notice the space (or lack thereof) between Remus and I.
The dance wound down, and we all wandered back up to the common room amid plenty of "it's about bloody time"'s in regard to Remus and I as well as James and Lily.
"I'm going to go up to bed, now, Layla," Remus said, holding onto my hand, "but that doesn't mean I won't be thinking of you."
I grinned, looking down at our hands. "'Night, Remus." I stood on my tip toes and kissed him quickly.
He stepped back, starting towards his staircase as I started towards mine.
Well, I definitely needed some sleep. That was quite a night.