Chapter 5 : Witchy Woman
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As always, image by me :)
“Raven hair and ruby lips, sparks fly from her finger tips. Echoed voices in the night, she’s a restless spirit on an endless flight.” – The Eagles, 1972
After nursing their hangovers for the rest of the day, the Marauders trudged up the stairs to their dorm room, flopped onto their beds, and collectively groaned. They had barely eaten all day and still felt extremely tired. Peter Pettigrew rolled over onto his back and looked up at the deep red canopy above him. His brain still hurt. In an attempt to feel more comfortable, he threw back all of his plush covers and dove beneath his sheets. He wrapped all the blankets around him and curled into a little ball.
“How does Aeryn fall asleep next to you, Wormtail?” Sirius laughed as he kicked off his shoes. “You take all the covers!”
“Hey!” Peter exclaimed as he curled into a tighter ball. “I share! And you’re one to talk - you bark and run in your sleep! No wonder you never bring women back to your bed.”
“First of all, girls happen to think my puppy dreams are cute,” Sirius responded with a dashing grin as he threw a pillow at Peter. “Second, I made a promise to you lot that I would never let a female into our sacred man cave. None of you have shagged in here so out of respect, I haven’t either.”
“You’re such a bad liar,” James laughed as he put his hands behind his head. “It has nothing to do with us. You just like to keep your love life and your personal life separate. Or you just have an odd obsession with clean sheets.” As Sirius began to respond to James’ barb, Peter took the opportunity to throw the pillow back and cheered when it sailed through the air and smacked his friend in the face. In retaliation, Sirius threw the object back at Peter but when the boy ducked, he hit Remus instead. The werewolf grunted and lobbed the pillow at Sirius with such force that it knocked him off his bed.
“Merlin, Remus,” Sirius said breathlessly as he climbed up from the floor and back into his bed, “I only hit you on accident. No need to flex your muscles.”
“The Full Moon is next Saturday,” he muttered. “I can’t help it.”
Peter yawned as the rest of the boys fell silent and then snuggled further into his nest. His eyes felt heavy and he desperately wanted to fall asleep but knew that he had to find Aeryn; he’d been purposely avoiding her all day. He didn’t expect their relationship to end over a small tiff about sleeping next to each other but he still didn’t like the idea of walking into a fight. He knew Aeryn liked to blow things out of proportion and act hysterical just so she could get her way. She didn’t protest much but when she did, she made sure Peter heard her. He sighed, rolled his eyes, and threw back his covers. As he began to tie his shoes, he caught James, Remus, and Sirius staring at him.
“Aeryn” was all Peter needed to say. They collectively cringed.
“I told you not to wait Wormtail,” Remus sighed as he handed him the Marauder’s Map. “You know she’s been steaming all day. You’re only making it worse for yourself.”
“You can’t blame me for not taking you seriously,” Peter grumbled, “you were still drunk when you said that.” He accidentally ripped the piece of paper out of Remus’ hands with a little too much force and yelped when a small part of the corner tore off. “Shit! I’m – I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to -”
“Relax, Wormtail,” James said as he put a hand on his shoulder. “We can fix the tear. Just go fix things with Aeryn, would you?” Peter gulped and nodded. As he turned to exit the dormitory, he saw Sirius give him the thumbs up. He returned the sign and then descended the stairs into the common room. After scanning quickly, he saw Xavier Frobisher playing exploding snap with a group of other Fifth Years and noticed Sybil Brown and a small group of Fourth Year girls eying them playfully. However, he found no sign of his girlfriend. He took a couple steps backwards and tucked into a shadowy corner.
“I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good.”
The Map revealed that she was not in the Gryffindor Tower. Peter knitted his brows in concern and began to unfold the piece of paper to show more detail. He spun it around several times, trying to find the small dot that said Aeryn Miller, but failed to find what he was looking for. Peter huffed and leaned back against the wall behind him. This was not proving to be easy.
As he began to fold the parchment back together, he suddenly stopped when he noticed Aeryn’s dot was on top of the Astronomy Tower, pacing back and forth. He quickly pocketed the Map and sprinted up the many flights of stairs to join his girlfriend. When he reached the top, he leaned against the cold stone archway and gasped deeply for air. His noises alerted Aeryn and she bristled slightly but did not acknowledge his presence.
She crossed her arms over her chest and refused to turn around.
“Aeryn, what are you even doing up here?”
He knew she could hear him and frowned when she still did not move. He took several more breaths and then slowly shuffled across the open patio. She huffed softly and in order to calm her, he placed his hands on her shoulders.
“Aeryn, please listen to me.”
“What have you got to say?”
“That I’m sorry.”
“Sorry for what exactly?”
“I’m sorry I didn’t fall asleep next to you.”
“You think that’s why I’m mad?” Aeryn boiled over as she ripped his hands from her shoulders. “You’re so obtuse!”
“Why else would you be this angry?” Peter responded, clearly confused.
“I’m angry,” she erupted, “because you spend more time with your Marauders than you do with me!”
“Not this again,” he groaned as he rubbed his temples. “For the last time, I do not spend more time with them.”
“But you do! You never came home last night and I couldn’t find you all day. You were with them, not me. It’s not fair!”
“Are you serious, Aeryn?” Peter flared. “I’ve been hungover all day. I was sparing you, not ignoring you.” He barely recognized the lie coming out of his mouth as he felt his anger pulse through his veins. It consumed him and he felt his face redden as his fists clenched at his sides.
“I don’t believe you,” she said icily as she glared at him. He scoffed in return. With a huff, she crossed her arms over her chest again and looked in the other direction. When he tried to reach out and wrap his arms around her, she sidestepped his advance.
“MERLIN, woman!” Peter groaned forcefully as he rolled his eyes and put his hands on his hips, “What do you bloody want from me? I’m here to apologize to you, not break things off.” His tone instantly alarmed Aeryn and she shrank slightly. He could tell she had not expected him to lash out at her normal, albeit childish antics. He sighed, realizing that he had let his anger get the best of him, and deflated as she began to whimper. “I’m sorry. I’m didn’t mean-”
“Oh Peter, I don’t want to fight!” Aeryn blubbered as she began to break down in front of him. She reached out and clasped onto his red t-shirt as if her life depended on it. Peter exhaled noisily, wrapped his arms around her shaking body, and realized that he had no idea how the female brain worked.
“Shhhhh, it’s ok,” he murmured into her ear as he held her closely. “I don’t want to fight either. Lets forget this whole thing happened, alright?” She nodded and continued to cry and he felt her tears soak through the fabric of his shirt. He patted her back several times and when a gust of wind blew by them, felt her shaking from the cold. She whimpered softly again; her thin green tank top and jean skirt was clearly not enough to keep her warm.
“Peter, can we go inside and cuddle? Please? It’s so cold!”
“I’ll be just a moment,” he replied, motioning to the small carton of cigarettes in his pocket. “I’ll sneak into your dormitory when I’m finished. Then we can cuddle.”
“Ok, my darling,” she said with a small smile as she pinched his cheek. “I love you.”
“Love you too,” he responded softly as he kissed her on the cheek. Her smile turned into a full-blown grin and she skipped slightly as she passed through the stone archway and down the stairs.
Peter quickly ripped a cigarette out of his container, pushed it into his mouth, and used his wand to light the end. He inhaled deeply and finally began to relax. He liked to keep a carton on hand like most of the students at Hogwarts in case he felt the need to smoke but lately, he’d been lighting up more and more often. As he exhaled, he grabbed onto the railing and looked out at the ink black night sky.
The boy had expected the fight to rage on for much longer and therefore took some time for himself. He wondered why had he gotten so angry with Aeryn in the first place. She had a point; he did blow her off to hang out with his mates a lot. However, their long-standing argument normally didn’t send them into a shouting match. Usually, he let her rant and rave until she tired herself out and then he would apologize to make things better. It was a cycle they went through every two months or so. She would break out and he would contain things.
Yet this evening, Peter wanted to do nothing more than piss her off. He wanted to be the one to do the ranting and raving. He wanted to be in control for once.
The Gryffindor took another drag and watched as the smoke left his mouth and floated up towards the twinkling stars above him. While his sudden outburst concerned him, he realized that it was not an isolated incident. He’d been short with his friends earlier in the day too. He sucked in more smoke and flicked some ash off the side of the Tower.
As the end of his cigarette continued to smolder, he knitted his brows and found himself pacing back and forth as he tried to figure out the source of his explosions. The first had been after his mates had been squabbling and the second was after Aeryn had given him her usual amount of sass. Both situations were not new; Peter dealt with them on a daily basis. So why had they sent him into such a tailspin?
The Seventh Year sighed and placed the cigarette back into his mouth. After thinking for several minutes and smoking two more cigarettes, he supposed it was because he felt stuck. His parents placed so many expectations on him, his mates always shined brighter than him, his girlfriend constantly fought him for his attention, and there was nothing he could do about it. He felt his six years at Hogwarts had accumulated into a stagnant lifestyle that constantly depressed him.
The worst part was that he could not break free from his routines. He could not make his own path.
“Am I meant for something more?” he pondered, looking up at the night sky. Suddenly the wind gusted and blew his almost finished cigarette out of his hands. He watched it float over the edge of the Astronomy Tower with a mournful expression. “Apparently not.”
He thrust his hands into his pockets and trudged towards the archway. As he slowly plodded down the stairs towards the Gryffindor Tower, he considered lighting up another cigarette to smoke on the way back. He quickly thought against it, realizing that the Prefects would start their rounds soon. Although most students illegally smoked around the Castle, the Prefects did not take kindly to those using a nicotine addiction as an excuse for walking around after hours. He ran a hand through his long, light brown hair as he descended the last couple of steps and hit the long hallway that led to the other parts of the castle.
He had to hurry.
Peter started to make his way back towards Aeryn’s dorm room when he thought he saw something move in the distance. He yelped softly and tucked into the shadows to consult the Map to see if it was a Prefect. His eyes followed the empty corridor until it hit a dot about a hundred or so feet in front of him: Luciana Rosier.
“Rosier … where have I heard that name before?” Peter muttered to himself as he watched her dot move away. Then it hit him - Sirius had been ranting about the family for most of the train ride. He’d denounced them for their notoriously abusive Muggle hunting parties on their large estate in Scotland. Peter didn’t know how old Luciana was or how well she could brandish her wand but Sirius’ outburst was enough to warm him to stay away from her. He quickly tucked the Map into his pocket and transformed into his animagus.
He scurried down the hallway as a rat in the shadows to squeak by her undetected. Soon, he closed the gap between them and was just about to pass her when she crossed in front of one of the large open windows. The moonlight illuminated her extremely pale skin and she pushed back some of her long dark chocolate tresses to revealed her defined cheekbones and plump lips that held a cigarette between them. She dipped her head and lit the end of it, putting her wand away as smoke began to billow up from her face. As Luciana inhaled again, she passed by the window and fell into the shadows across from Peter.
He followed her for several meters, making sure to be quiet, and couldn’t take his eyes off her. With his enhanced vision, he watched her as she swished her hips back and forth, clearly not giving a fuck if she was caught breaking the rules. She exhaled and Peter felt his heart race; not only was he attracted to her classic hourglass shape but her blatant smoking exhibition made him want a cigarette. He dashed to her side of the hallway and followed closely behind her as she continued to smoke.
Their path suddenly split. Peter knew he had to turn left to make his way back to Aeryn but he felt drawn to Luciana. She emanated sexuality, lawlessness, and power - all of which Peter desperately wanted in his life. His animal instincts quickly took over and he followed her to the right as she made her way down towards the Slytherin dungeons. Even though they walked in silence, Peter continued to be blown away by her demeanor and beauty. He contemplating turning back into his human form to try and make contact with her but knew that Peter Pettigrew was not enough to catch the snake’s gaze. She was hungry and on the prowl but for someone much more confident and powerful than him. He stayed in the shadows as she muttered the password and entered her common room.
The room suddenly felt darker and much colder.
Peter started to pant anxiously when he realized that he was in enemy territory. It was like he was coming out of a blackout. How he let his obsession go this far? If any Slytherin saw him, they would attack him with no reservations. He quickly scurried back up the stairs towards the Gryffindor Tower and once he hit the main floor, took several misdirectional routes to confuse anyone following him.
While he couldn’t hear anyone behind him, he was completely paranoid that someone would find out about his exploration with the wild side. His heart pounded as he finally found a discrete corner near the entrance to the Gryffindor common room. Peter changed back into his human form and clutched his chest in fear when he realized he had just followed a Slytherin down to the dungeons without even questioning his motives. It was another outburst he could not explain.
“What the fuck is happening to me?” he cried.
Author’s note (new!): I have finally found play bys for everyone! You're going to see them in their chapter images but here's the new list of everyone:
James: Gaspard Ulliel
Lily: Karen Gilllan
Sirius: Ben Barnes
Gemma: Taylor Swift
Remus: young Leonardo Dicaprio
Marianne: Natalie Portman
Peter: young Vincent Kartheiser
Aeryn: Jennette McCurdy (I have no idea who this chick is but I thought a Disney star would be perfect for Aeryn, ha!)
The next chapter will be the Marauders all together. I know I’m throwing a lot of plot and details at you but there are a lot of POV changes in this story so you won’t necessarily read the Marauder’s individual thoughts for the next couple chapters. There is a method to my madness, I swear!
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