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stranger things by blackballet

Format: Novel
Chapters: 12
Word Count: 26,889
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a mild sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme

Genres: Drama, Horror/Dark, Young Adult
Characters: Dumbledore, Lupin, James, Lily, Sirius, Pettigrew, Regulus, OC
Pairings: James/Lily, Remus/OC, Sirius/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 07/08/2013
Last Chapter: 06/04/2017
Last Updated: 06/04/2017

Summary:
banner by me








A story about a teenage inferius. Stranger things have happened. 
 


Chapter 4: noticing

The more that Remus Lupin stood outside my room in the Ravenclaw common room the more unnecessarily nervous I became. It wasn’t his striking hands (already discussed) or his towering stature (although that did not assist). It was more something to do with the prospect of a date.

And of course I didn’t know what he was expecting. I didn’t want this to lead to anything; I didn’t even want this to happen. But then, it was happening and so I would have to deal with it anyway.

“Charlotte, get downstairs,” Emmeline said urgently, leaning her head against the wooden door of our dorm as if she could actually hear anything that was going on in the common room from that position.

“I am not going to rush, Emmeline,” I said, staring myself down in the full length mirror that my room shared. My head tilted to the side in the reflection as I assessed my appearance for the day. “If Remus meant 12:50, he should have said 12:50,” I claimed, pointing to the clock in my reflection. Emmeline turned her head to look at the time and scoffed.

“I heard them in the common room!” she urged, tapping her foot impatiently. I did not answer Emmeline this time, knowing she would lose interest if I stopped feeding her obsession.

I looked again at my reflection, this time noticing myself in the reflection rather than the reflection as someone else. Myself staring back at me was not imposing, was not important, or striking in the least. Many things about myself were just so. The part of my hair was just to the left of my left eyebrow. The color of my hair was just light enough to not be dark brown. The hem of my sweater just barely reached the belt loops of my skirt.

“Char-lotte,” Emmeline hissed, stomping on the floor again.

I nodded my head at myself, satisfied with my appearance, and stepped back from the mirror.

“Alright, let’s go,” a disgruntled Elizabeth Meckel said, sitting up in her bed and yawning. “You two are being too bloody loud.”

“It’s only one o’ clock,” I argued as she stood up and stepped into a pair of slippers.  

“Yeah, I only got to bed at 4:00 a.m., so it’s enough,” she argued back, pushing me by the shoulders towards the door.

Elizabeth Meckel was a girl who mostly minded her own business. Unless it had to do with her, she kept her small, rounded nose out of your affairs. She didn’t care who, what, when, where, or why. So, for me, she was the ideal roommate. Except for when she was woken up.

“Elizabeth, I don’t have…”
“Accio wand,” she said, pointing her wand at the open door now behind us. My wand flew into Elizabeth’s hand, and she pushed it into mine. “Now you are going on that date,” she whispered, as we approached the Common Room. “I didn’t get woken up by a screeching Emmeline for nothing.”

Elizabeth shoved me the final way down the stairs, and we stumbled upon Remus, Sirius, Peter, and James standing, scattered about the Ravenclaw Common Room.

The four boys were nothing more than curious if you asked me. They were like woodpeckers; ever interested in getting inside something. They all looked around the foreign Common Room in a state of awe. James, questioning the portraits, Sirius, rapping his knuckles against a marble column, Peter, peering around my shoulder to get a look at the staircase behind me, and Remus, letting his eyes stray to a game of Wizard’s Chess.

“Good morning, Charlotte!” James said brightly, turning away from the bored portrait.

“Did you need an escort?” Sirius asked, looking at Elizabeth and then back to me. I rolled my eyes.

“Should you really be talking?” I motioned to the three boys that had accompanied Remus.

Remus tucked his head into his chest, and I realized that I had embarrassed him. Sirius rolled his eyes back at me.

“We’re all going to Hogsmeade too, if that’s alright with your highness,” he spat bitterly, bowing to me facetiously. I did not know what to say. Sirius Black was infuriating and intriguing at the same time, so I got distracted.

“We should just get going,” Remus said nervously, stepping in front of the three boys and closer towards me.

“That sounds good,” I responded, turning my attention away from the rest of them. “Have you eaten yet?” Remus shook his head, and I began walking out of the Common Room. “We can go to the Three Broomsticks, if that works for you,” I decided, ducking out of the Common Room and holding open the portrait for Remus to follow.

“I like the Three Broomsticks,” he said, volunteering very little information. I waited for a moment, wanting to see if he would add anything else. And when he didn’t, I just kept walking.

“Good.”

The word slipped out of me, and I didn’t know why.

 








The Three Broomsticks was very, very crowded. I had a distant memory of someone telling me not to use the word very to describe something. But it was truly very crowded, so much of Remus and I’s conversation consisted of ‘what’ and ‘Can you say that again’.

“Sorry, I couldn’t hear,” Remus apologized, leaning closer to me over the table. My eyes flickered down to look at the space between our hands: there wasn’t much. I also leaned closer, and took my hand off the table.

“I said, I don’t have any siblings, either. Unless you count Mary.” Remus nodded, his eyes leaving my lips and coming back to my eyes.

“Why would I count Mary?” he yelled back, tucking his chin down and bringing a butterbeer to his mouth. The roaring behind me died down a bit, so I sat back in the booth we shared.

“Mary and I grew up together.” Remus nodded knowingly and put down his drink.

“Ah. That makes sense.” He chuckled to himself, and his shoulders shook as he did. I tilted my head to the side.

“Do you say that because Mary’s my only friend?” Remus raised his right eyebrow and chuckled again with a hint of a scoff.

“Yes I do. You’re quite blunt, Charlotte,” he said, leaning his elbows on the table.

“That is a good word for me, Remus.” Remus smiled at me with just the edges of his mouth and my mouth suddenly became dry. I took a sip of my butterbeer, and it went down my throat chunkily.

“Do you want to get out of here?” he asked, standing up before I had a chance to answer. I looked over my shoulder at the door behind me: Sirius, James, and Peter had decided to make an appearance. I nodded at Remus and stood up with him. We each left a sickle on the table, and he started walking quickly around the room to the exit.

“So how bad is it?” I yelled over the crowd to his back. “Your friends, I mean,” I clarified. Remus shook his head, and yelled back.

“They aren’t bad, they’re just…”

He had either stopped talking, or his last word was drowned out by the offending subjects, as they collectively shouted, “Moony!”

Remus pursed his lips, and I squeezed his hand; this was exactly the moment I realized we were holding hands.

“Hello,” he said reluctantly. I pulled my hand out of his for no reason I can fathom to wave hello to the boys. “We were just headed out,” he explained rather weightily.

“Oh, okay,” James said suggestively, an involuntary smirk raising on the right side of his face. “We’ll see you later, then.”

He stood back from the doorway, and let us pass. My eyes travelled across Peter’s uninvolved face, and then Sirius’. And Sirius was more involved in this situation than I’d ever seen him be. Whatever that means, he was not complacent, or imposing, or striking; he was involved.

“So, the boys,” Remus sighed as the door swung shut behind us. “They’re just…really good friends,” he said, chuckling again. He smiled again with just the corners of his mouth, and I decided I’d found a habit of Remus’.

“They seem rather obsessed with you, if you don’t mind me saying.” Every time I talked about them, Remus smiled.

“It’s because they care, they say,” he reminisced, seeming to quote someone. “I am the ‘pet’ of the group,” he explained unnecessarily. With irrelevance. I looked down to my left and saw that our hands were swinging quite close to each other, and in time. “They like intervening. It’s a pastime of ours.”

“They switched to ours,” I noticed, tucking my hair behind my ear as the wind blew it forward.

“What?”

“You said, ‘They like intervening. It’s a pastime of ours’. You changed it.” Remus didn’t say anything, but didn’t seem phased one way or another. “Just something I noticed.”

“You notice a lot of things, Charlotte. I wouldn’t accuse you of being oblivious.”

The wind blew at us again, in a strong gust. Remus scrunched up his face, and his dusty, floppy hair flew forward around it. My hair rose up and tangled itself in my face. I used the wind as a reason to stay quiet and Remus used the wind as an excuse for our knuckles to brush.

“Let’s go over there.” My arm moved of its own volition. I followed its track as Remus did and found myself pointing towards the Shrieking Shack. I looked up at Remus, whose demeanor had instantly changed. His cheeks became just slightly red, but I only really noticed because I was looking.

“We don’t have to,” I amended. The wind died down again. “I should be getting back to Hogwarts anyway,” I offered, looking at my watch. Remus dragged his gaze away from the house and back to me. “I really do have Quidditch practice.”

Remus looked down at me again and nodded.

 








The whistle that hung around my neck shone in the bright sun of late September. The rest of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team were flying up in the air, and so I took off to join them. The rush of the air against my face was refreshing, and made me forget about Remus’ strange reaction to the Shrieking Shack at least a little bit.

“Let’s work on drills!” I shouted across the field, hovering in the center. “Beaters, head over to those hoops, we’ll work on aim. Chasers, same over there!” I shouted, pointing to the other hoops. “Emma, we’ll work on speed trials together, okay?”

No one seemed to have any objections to my agenda, and so the players went off to their respective sides. Emma Vanity flew to meet me in the middle. Emma was the third of four roommates I had. She was an infectious personality with most everyone except for me. She and Mary were similar, but Emma was slightly less noble, slightly less endearing, and slightly less peppy.

Emma flew up at me quickly and stopped shortly.

“Where are we starting?” she asked, toying with the inactive Snitch. I leaned forward and snatched the Snitch as it was passing between her hands in the air.

“You are finding the Snitch today.” I brought my arm back and threw the Snitch as far as I could, watching its wings unfold before I looked back to Emma. I picked up the stopwatch that hung around my neck, and clicked it to start. “Go.”

Emma took off with a blast, leaving my hair in a mess once again.

 








I took another shot at the center hoop and my bludger bounced off the edge, heading straight back at me. The sweat coming from my forehead finally dripped into my mouth, and as the bludger approached, I slammed it aimlessly into the distance to give my arm a rest.

There were two reasons I liked to stay after practice and work by myself. One: I didn’t actually get to work on my skills as a Beater during practice unless we were having relays. Two: the sun was finally coming down on the pitch, and I liked the way the sun set over the lake.

I sat back on my broom as the bludger headed back to me. It cut through the orange, red, pink, yellow, purple, and broke me out of a trance. I backed up, and set my arm to hit the bludger through the goal post. Just one time, and I could justify putting away the bludger and heading inside.

I slammed the bludger with all my force, and watched as it flew to the goal post. Closer, closer, and then ding! Just off the side of the hoop and circling back towards me already. I took in a deep breath and wiped my sweat out of my eye with the crook of my arm. I watched as it came at me, let out another deep breath, and grunted as I swung again.

It was so perfect. It had to go through the hoop that time, I pleaded in my mind. “Bloody hell!” I exclaimed as it hit the other side of the hoop, again just slightly off center. I sped down to the ground to beat the bludger, and turned around just in time to whip out my wand.

“Arresto momentum,” I said, calming my voice for the spell. The bludger stopped about a foot away from my face, and I let out another breath, shorter. I threw down my bat. I stepped forward, keeping my wand trained on it, and grabbed it from the air. The spell dropped, and I wrestled with the magical force the bloody bludgers had.

“Rough practice?” a voice asked from behind me. I finished wrestling the bludger back into its case.

“What?” I asked, admittedly physically exhausted. I turned around, saw an empty pitch, a disappearing sun, and someone I did not know. 

 


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