A/N: First Remus/Dorcas fic- another couple that I love dearly.
Disclaimer: Characters property of the brilliant Jo Rowling.
"Moony, mate, this is getting ridiculous," James insisted over breakfast. "See?" he said to Sirius when Remus paid him no attention. "The poor bloke's got it bad. He doesn't even pay attention to me anymore."
Sirius laughed. "Oi, Moony!" He leaned over and clapped loudly in front of Remus's face. That was enough to snap him back from staring at the laughing pack of girls at the end of the table.
"What?" Remus snapped, visibly annoyed.
"Honestly, lad," Sirius said shaking his head. "You're as bad as Prongs with Evans. Ouch!" James had jabbed him with his elbow.
"Why don't you just ask her out?" Peter asked.
"Are you mad?" he asked, incredulous. "I can't just ask her out." Nobody failed to notice the slight blush that crept to his face at the last bit.
"Why not?" Sirius challenged, taking a drink out of his goblet.
Remus had no immediate reply. He nervously moved his eggs around in his plate. "What if she hexes me?"
"She's Doe Meadowes not Lily Evans," Sirius said, patting his back and ignoring the glare James shot him.
"I don't know…" replied the other.
"Come on, Moony," James insisted. "It's been six years. It's about time you asked her."
"Because that's worked out so well for you?"
James was not amused.
So it was decided that Remus would either willingly ask Doe Meadowes out after lunch, or Sirius himself would ask for him. The thought of how that conversation would go was enough to convince Remus to do it himself.
With one last encouraging grin from James, a wave from Peter, and a wink from Sirius, Remus set off to the courtyard where the map indicated Doe was. On the way there, he murmured words of encouragement to himself, drawing the looks and giggles from a pack of first year girls he passed by.
The others had been right. It had been almost six years. Almost six years since the rainy afternoon when he sat alone in the library, a mousy first year, frantically flipping through the pages of his Transfiguration book, afraid that if he did not find the answer, Dumbledore would take back his decision of allowing him at Hogwarts.
"Um," a small voice had said, interrupting his small panic. He looked up to see that pretty blonde girl he'd seen in the Great Hall many times before. For some reason, his hand flew to hair to make sure it was still neat. "Is someone sitting here?"
His voice failed him so he shook his head. With a small smile, she quietly took a seat in the chair across him and withdrew her own books from her bag. Neither said anything else and so Remus, more aware of his actions, even the involuntary ones, returned to his work. It was a matter of seconds before his previous panic set in again. His hands shook more with each turn of the page.
"Are you all right?" her sweet voice asked. Remus looked up, feeling heat creeping up his neck and face. He wondered for how long she had been staring at him.
He nodded silently.
"You don't seem all right," she pointed out matter-of-factly.
Why couldn't he say anything?
She peered at his parchment and understanding dawned on her lovely face. "Number twenty three?" she asked, taking out her own piece of parchment. "I had a hard time with that one, too. Here, let me give you the answer."
"It's all right," he all but stammered. "You don't have to."
She was about to open her mouth when a girl with red hair and bright, green eyes appeared at her side. "Are you ready for lunch, Doe?" she asked her after nodding at Remus politely in greeting.
The blonde girl nodded to her friend and collected her things. She seemed hesitant but her brown eyes met his one last time and he gave her the prettiest smile he'd ever seen on anyone. "Page 57," she told him before following her friend out the library.
He knew it then.
His eyes scanned the courtyard until he saw her, sitting alone under one of the trees to protect her from the pre-summer sun. She was engrossed in a book, a small smile playing at her lips. Remus wondered what she was reading that made her so at ease. It was then he decided it was time to give up admiring her from afar and finally ask her out. With one last shaky breath, he began towards her.
But he froze on his tracks when he saw a tall Ravenclaw bloke with dark hair plopped into the seat next to her. Jude Feeny was his name if Remus wasn't mistaken, a sixth year. Very gently and before Doe could stop him, Jude placed two fingers under her chin and slowly tilted her head to his for a kiss.
Remus looked away, feeling a new sense of admiration for James. Is that how it felt every time then? He shook his head, never feeling stupider in his life. What had he been thinking? He had given up on the prospect dating a long time ago. No one would want him near them, let alone date him, if they discovered what he was. Not even someone as kind and compassionate as Doe Meadowes. He walked back inside, the feeling in his chest more painful than if someone had stabbed him.