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Clover and I walk into Hogsmeade as if we’d been doing it all our lives. We’ve talked about everything and yet nothing because what I overheard yesterday hangs over us like a storm cloud.
I doubt Clover will choose to go against Sirius. Sirius has been nothing but good to her, he always looks out for her, and he loves her. Regulus would be ready to drop her if he noticed any sign of a preference for good. It’s just the fact that she’s entertaining the idea of becoming a Death Eater. I’m not mad…just confused. If I’m going to get involved with this girl, I want to know where she stands.
We walk past the quaint little building with the sloped roofs and say hello to friends we see.
“Where do you want to go?” I ask.
“You tell me,” she says. “I’ve never been here before.”
“Well, we could go to The Three Broomsticks or Honeydukes if you like. There’s Madam Puddifoots, but I doubt that’s your kind of shop.”
“What do you mean?” she asks affronted.
“Think confetti and an excess of valentine heart decorations,” I say.
A look of realization crosses her face, and she wrinkles her nose. “Oh,” she says, “well, let’s go to The Three Broomsticks then. Sirius says that’s good.”
Well, if Sirius says so.
I open the door for her as we enter which earns me a smile that makes me feel much warmer than even Madam Rosmerta’s butterbeer ever could.
Clover heads toward a booth in the back and I follow her lead. We take our places across from each other, and suddenly I’m struck with the fact that I’m on a date with the prettiest girl I’ve ever met.
“You look nice,” I say, translating my thoughts into words that can be said aloud.
“You do too,” she grins.
I pause. Should I ask about what I heard yesterday?
“You overheard me yesterday in the library,” Clover says after a moment. It’s not a question.
Well, that makes everything easier.
“Remus,” she continues, once my face affirms this statement, “I’m not a junior Death Eater, don’t worry. You can stop looking at me like I’m Voldemort’s little apprentice.”
“You’ve never talked to him before?” I ask nervously.
She laughs. “Oh you know, just the occasional chat about the weather or the latest Quidditch scores.” I roll my eyes at her smart mouth. “I’ve talked to him only once,” she concedes, “when he was visiting my parents on a meeting. I was young, and he saw me beating up Regulus and said I’d be a good addition to his cause.” She shrugs. “Whatever.”
Well, that’s a relief. Voldemort just thought she was good Death Eater material. No biggie.
“Okay,” I say for lack of a response.
“You’re mad,” she says.
“No,” I correct, “I’m concerned. He’s going to find you if he expressed interest in you already and then what will you do?”
“Refuse him,” she says as if this has all been thought through, and he’d simply accept her answer as final.
I shake my head, “This is bad Clover.”
She frowns. “I know Remus. It’ll be fine though.”
“I feel like that was kind of a contradiction.” Her face darkens so I say quickly, “Maybe not.”
“Listen. Don’t worry about me. I think you have enough to worry about as it is,” she says sharply.
I gulp. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You tell me,” she replies pointedly. She softens upon seeing my worried expression. “I’m sorry. I don’t know anything Remus, really I don’t. All I know is that you have some sort of problem. I don’t know what kind or how big, and you don’t have to tell me. In fact, I don’t want you to.”
“Okay,” I say calming down. “Okay good. Now let’s get back to you.” I wonder how many times that has been uttered on a date. I’m almost certain never in this context.
She waves a hand dismissively. “My parents always expected only three things from me: marry for money, go to Beauxbaton, and become a Death Eater.”
I sincerely hope she doesn’t still plan on still marrying for money.
Wait, I’m already thinking about marriage? I’ve officially lost all sense of rationality.
“I plan on disappointing them as much as possible,” she grins. “I’m not worried about the future Remus, so neither should you.”
“Well, when the time comes, I’ll be there for you,” I say sincerely.
She considers this. “I appreciate that,” Clover says graciously.
The conversation turns to other subjects besides life threatening ones, and I find myself enjoying it completely. I wonder is she’s having as much fun as I am. After we’ve finished our butterbeers, we stand up to go to Honeydukes where Clover buys more sweets than I do. Right away after seeing a couple talk about Zonko’s, she wants to go. I show her the way and even buy her a few dungbombs although I know I’m encouraging a bad habit.
“I had fun,” she says sweetly on our way back to the castle.
“Me too,” I reply, relieved.
“You seem relieved.”
Damn, she’s good.
I laugh trying to appear confident.
She smirks showing that she sees right through me.
“Thanks Remus,” she says after a while.
“For what?” I ask.
She gestures toward nothing. “Everything. You’ve made coming here much easier for me, and more fun.”
Fun. I’ve never heard that word in reference to me.
“I’m happy to do it,” I say truthfully.
She rewards me with another smile which I have grown accustomed to. This time though, she gives me a kiss on the cheek.
And I think I’m in heaven.
The next day she disappears.
Her brother Regulus is gone too. Once I had discovered that she was missing I simply expected her to be in the Hospital Wing with the flu. I made a trip to surprise her, but I was told by a rather ruffled Madam Pomfrey that she hadn’t been to see her at all this year.
When she didn’t show up for Astronomy that night, I really began to worry. I practically ran the entire trip to the Gryffindor boys’ dorm half expecting to see Sirius missing as well. I was relieved to see him sitting on his bed, but upon noticing the vacant expression on his face, my relief promptly vanished.
“They’ve gone to him haven’t they?” I ask blankly. Sirius simply nods. James is sitting in the window seat looking mournful and even Peter has mustered up some sympathy for the situation.
I shake my head in disbelief. “I don’t believe it! Just yesterday she told me she wouldn’t think of doing exactly this!”
Sirius seems to mirror my feelings. “I thought I knew her. I thought I’d had some effect on her.” In a sudden burst of anger he lets out a yelp and throws his pillow at nothing in particular.
“Sirius,” James says from the other side of the room, “mate, you can’t blame yourself.”
Sirius laughs darkly. “Well, I am.”
I sit down weakly on my trunk at the foot of my bed. I would have sworn for her that she wasn’t going to get involved with this…this evilness! I try to tell myself that she can still say no. Even then, wouldn’t that get her killed? Voldemort wouldn’t wait for reason and he certainly didn’t have any patience for expressions of virtue.
“I’m sure it’s not as bad as it seems,” Peter says meekly.
Sirius scoffs at this. “Any way you flip it, it’s going to be bad Peter.”
“Did she say anything?” I ask quietly.
Sirius shrugs, “She said she was sorry, but she wouldn’t say why.” Sirius smiles sadly, “I guess now I know.” He laughs, “I thought it was about something she’d done with you!”
I think quickly of the kiss she’d given me.
I’d been floating about in a romantic haze all last night, and now, any thoughts of love or adoration were far, far from my mind.
Before I’d questioned her feelings for me and her miscellaneous secrets, but now, there’s only one question on my mind.
How well can you ever really know a person?
“No,” I say sadly, “she has nothing to do with me.”
AN: Sorry it's so short, and I'm sorry about Clover! Don't hate me or throw miscellaneous objects my way! She still has time to redeem herself! ;-)
I'm heading back to college next week so the next update might not be for awhile.
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