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 Chapter 14: You Tried to Turn Away

 

Saturday November 20th, 4:34 am

 

I stretched my arms above my head and let a yawn escape my lips. I stood up, my tense joints cracking with my sudden movement. I walked over to the large window in the common room and rested my head against the cool glass.

 

The Marauders were out on another 'meeting' with Dumbledore. I knew they were lying to me because once again Lily was up in our room safe and sound while the idiotic boys were running rampant somewhere else.

 

I sighed and tiredness clung to my eyes but I knew I would not be able to sleep. After Sirius had kissed me and I ran out on him, sleep no longer came easy to me. Every night I laid in bed thinking about what happened and the damage I have caused. Before, Sirius and I had just awkwardly avoided each other but now anytime I would walk into the room Sirius would glare at me. The glares he sent to me would cause me to shiver as I laid awake at night thinking of them. He hated me. I had messed everything up. Any idea I had had of us ever getting together were quickly diminished after I thoroughly ruined everything.

 

I sighed and looked outside at the lake, the full moon reflecting on the surface.

 

I furrowed my eyebrows and stared out the window wondering why all of this looked familiar to me.

 

I racked my brain for memories of when this last happened. The last time the Marauders had said they were seeing Dumbledore was a little over or a little under a month ago. I remember sitting in my bedroom late at night, realizing Lily was in her bed sound asleep.

 

Sirius wound up in the hospital. My heart squeezed uncomfortably at the memory. The thought of Sirius lying in that bed, broken and bleeding left me with uncomfortable memories that no matter how hard I tried to forget seemed to be ingrained in my head. I remembered him lying to me, covering for something or someone that night. I know it has to do with Remus. I feel so close to the answer that the words were waiting to fall from my lips.

 

I looked back outside, the full moon was so bright I felt as if I stared hard enough at it that it would provide me with an answer.

 

Last time I sat in this position, staring outside, the Marauders absent, there had been a full moon. I remember seeing the moon reflecting on the surface of the lake.

 

Oh my Merlin.

 

It all makes sense. A once a month occurrence. Remus's sickly disposition every few days out of the month. The late night disappearances, the full moon. Remus is a werewolf.

 

I sat on the ground and put my head between my hands as I tried to absorb the new information. I was trying to figure out how I felt, what this meant, what this changed. How was innocent, gentle Remus a werewolf. How had this happened? How long had he been a werewolf for? And what did James, Sirius and Peter have to do with it? Why did it seem like they were always out with him? If he's a werewolf there was no way that they could safely be around him.

 

And then as if a reenactment was playing I saw figures walking across the grounds. There were four this time, all supporting one person. The lights dashed across their faces and I wasn't surprised to see that they were the Marauders. My heart lurched when I recognized the unconscious boy.

 

Remus.

 

The all too familiar sensation of fear gripping my body tore through me as I ran outside the portrait and to the hospital wing. My breathing seemed to echo off the walls and bounce back and hit me. The sound of my own breath hit my ears, the sound seemed to be the only thing that reminded me to keep breathing.

 

I finally reached the hospital wing and threw open the doors. Everyone was huddled around a bed while Madame Pomphrey mended Remus. James turned around and saw me. He looked at me with wide eyes. “Avery, you shouldn't be in here.”

 

“I know,” I whispered as I neared Remus. His frail body laid limp on the bed. A large gash across his cheek and his torso. “I figured it out,” I said softly as I took Remus's hand in mine and stroked back his hair from his eyes.

 

“Figured what out?” James asked hesitantly. I could tell he wasn't positive if I meant that I knew he was a werewolf and he was treading lightly, making sure not to give anything away.

 

“I know what Remus is, what he becomes.” I looked behind me and smiled at James warmly. “It doesn't change a thing. He's still Remus. I'm not scared.” The situation seemed to hit me at that point. Going into the hospital wing I wasn't sure how I felt about my newfound information on Remus. But as soon as I saw him laying in the bed I realized that him being a werewolf didn't change a thing. He was still the same quiet Remus, the introverted observer, and kind friend. The fact that he was a werewolf didn't define him as a person, it only contributed to part of who he was.

 

“Will he be alright?” I asked Madame Pomphrey as she placed the last of a potion on his wounds.

 

“Oh yes, he's been in worse shape. He should be fine in the morning.” She said with her hands poised on her hips and a sympathetic smile directed towards him.

 

“Is it ok if I stay until he wakes up?”

 

Madame Pomphrey tutted and looked between me and Remus before sighing and throwing her arms in the air. “I guess it's alright, you're past curfew anyway. If there's any problems don't hesitate to get me.”

 

I nodded as Madame Pomphrey went back to her room.

 

“Well, I'm pretty tired,” James said as he stretched his arms above his heads and yawned. “I'm going to head off to bed.” James left the hospital wing with Peter on his tail. This left me, a passed out Remus, and Sirius.

 

I tried to remained fixated on Remus as Sirius remained silent behind me. The silence was awkward and I was afraid to breath too loudly in the event that would piss off Sirius. It seemed everything these days pissed him off. Just yesterday I was walking down the staircase when Sirius was coming up them. I tried to figure out a way to get off the staircase but the only solution would be jumping off of them and dying. Since I wouldn’t' consider this an option I had to pass him on the stairs.

 

“Stay out of my way.” Sirius snarled as I passed him.

 

“Oh I'm sorry, I missed the meeting where we set aside times for us to walk the stairs. Let me jot it down in my journal next time to avoid this situation.”

 

Aside from that one interaction on the stairs Sirius and I hadn't spoken since I'd left him high and dry after the kiss. Now the tension was so palpable it sent shivers down my spine and made it feel like little bugs were crawling across my skin, waiting to jump at the slightest hint of movement from behind me.

 

“You're a good friend to Remus, for accepting him.” Sirius's voice broke through the silence. I jumped in my spot and earned a small chuckle from Sirius.

 

“Yes well, him being a werewolf doesn't change who he is. Unless he tries to gnaw off my arm at some point I doubt it should interfere too much.”

 

Sirius laughed and the sound filled the room. I hadn't realized until them how much I missed his laugh. It was warm and sincere, never failing to make me smile. A short silence passed but Sirius quickly broke it. “I'm sorry,” he said quickly. Had the room not been completely silent I wouldn't have understood what he had said. “I've been an ass the past few days and you didn't deserve it. Guys don't typically admit it but we do get hurt. We're just not girls, we don't cry about it in a crowd so it's not as obvious when we're hurt.”

 

I turned around and looked at Sirius. “I hurt you?” I asked not completely sure that I had heard correctly. Never had the thought crossed that I had hurt him. I just thought I had humiliated him, and he being the self righteous cocky guy he is was mad that a girl had humiliated him.

 

Sirius nodded and scratched the back of his head, a sheepish expression on his face. “Yeah, try not to admit it to anyone. I've got to keep up appearances and all.” He sent me a crooked grin and dropped his hand. “I understand that you didn't want it and it's fine. I can't be mad at you for something you didn't want.”

 

Wait, what? He thinks I didn't want it? Well I guess I don't blame him for thinking that. I did kind of run out of the room after he kissed me. But it wasn't because I didn't want him. Truth be told I wasn't sure what I wanted. Just a few months ago the only thing I had to worry about was feeding my cat. Now I had friends and a fake boyfriend to juggle. Then Sirius came and things started changing and there was sexual tension and a broom closet and...flobberworms. Things just got too complicated too fast and I still don't know what to think of the situation. I don't know what I want.

 

Before I could explain myself to Sirius I felt the hand I was holding tighten and looked to Remus. His eyes were slowly fluttering open.

 

“Avery,” he said in a hoarse voice. “What are you doing here?”

 

“Remus,” I said smiling. “I know everything,” he sat up in bed quickly, looking at me with horror. “Don't worry, I'm fine with it. It doesn't change what I already think of you.” The words fell from my mouth so easily. The concerned look in Remus's eyes made me feel sorry for him that he was so ashamed of who he was.

 

Remus looked at me skeptically but I just gave him a reassuring smile. After a few moments he settled back into his bed. He wasn’t' completely relaxed but seemed better. “So you know about James, Sirius and Peter then?”

 

“Ah, we hadn't gotten around to telling her about that yet, mate.” Sirius said in a low voice as he neared the bed and stood beside me.

 

“Tell me what?”

 

“You see,” Sirius said quietly. “For the longest time we tried to figure out how we could help Remus. We saw him struggle every month and as his best mates it was hard to see him do it alone. We obviously couldn't be with him in our human form so we figured out a new way. Our fifth year we managed to become animagi.”

 

“What?” I asked in shock. “But how did the ministry allow that?”

 

“Funny thing, we're unregistered. Which is why you cannot tell a soul.”

 

“Of course I wont tell but...how? That's really advanced magic. I'm sure even some of the professors at Hogwarts would have difficulty.”

 

Sirius shrugged but the blow off jester was muted by his accomplished smile. “There's a reason why Dumbledore chose us for the Order.” Sirius gave me a confident grin, he was obviously proud of his accomplishment. I couldn't believe they'd managed to get past Dumbledore the fact that they were animagis.

 

“I appreciate you two sticking around but I'm knackered.” Remus said from the bed.

 

“Oh right,” I said turning away from Sirius and back to Remus. “Well I'll see you tomorrow, I'll pop by in the morning.”

 

“Avery its truly amazing how you accepted him so easily.” Sirius said as we left the hospital wing.

 

“Yeah, you've told me quite often I'm amazing,” I meant to say this lightly but it caused a sudden tension and Sirius stopped and looked at me intently. “Sorry, too soon?”

 

I thought for a moment Sirius was going to yell at me from the stern look on his face but then he broke out into a grin and started laughing. “You never say the right thing, ever.”

 

“I've been told that a few times,” I shrugged nonchalantly as Sirius and I neared the portrait.

 

“Wait,” I said thinking over the things Sirius had told me in the hospital wing, the questions I had had earlier now begging to be asked. “What animal do you turn into?”

 

Sirius looked sheepish for a moment as we came to stop in front of the portrait. “A dog.”

 

“You sneaky bastard,” I said a small smile on my face. “It was you in the hospital that night.”

 

Sirius shrugged and gave me a small smile before he said, “Veritaserum.” The portrait swung open. Sirius and I stopped at the end of the dormitory stairs. He stuck out his hand to me, “friends?” He said.

 

I looked at his hand and hesitated. Was this what I wanted? Would I be alright with just friends or would I later regret agreeing to this.

 

Sirius was looking at me impatiently, it seemed as if he was worried I wasn't even agreeing to just being friends. Not wanting to tell him I didn't know what I wanted I sighed and took his hand in mine, “friends.”

 

 

“Great news minions,” James declared loudly at breakfast as he seated himself next to Sirius.

 

“What's that Prongs?” Sirius asked.

 

“I have set a re-match against Slytherin.”

 

“I can't imagine McGonagall being alright with that.” Remus said diplomatically from behind his copy of the Daily Prophet.

 

“That's because our dearest Minnie doesn't know. The game is being held tonight at midnight. We have arranged so that we have two referees, one from each side so that it's fair. Well, as fair as it can be.”

 

“I'm just letting you know now I will not be taking part of this,” Remus said he folded his newspaper and put in his backpack. “Unlike you two tossers I try and avoid trouble at all costs. Speaking of which, I need to nip off to the library before class to double check a part of my potions essay.”

 

“It wasn't as if I were going to ask him anyway,” James mumbled as Remus left the Great Hall.

 

“So why the rematch? It's not as if it's going to count in the tournament anyway.”

 

“Ah well that's where the bet comes into play. If we lose we have to forfeit the game against Ravenclaw.”

 

“What!” Sirius exclaimed, throwing his fists down on the table. “That's our last match of the year! If we lose that game we lose the entire tournament.”

 

“And that's why it's good that we wont lose.”

 

“You've lost your bleeding mind.”

 

“Maybe so Padfoot, but then again, it's not like it would be the first time.”

 

I looked over at James and saw him staring off at the end of the table. I followed the direction of his eyesight and saw he was staring at Lily.

 

Creepy.

 

 

Why the bloody hell did I agree to this. They must've drugged me because there was no way I willingly agreed to this.

 

And yet, here I am standing between James and Sirius as the rest of the Gryffindor and Slytherin team make their way onto the Quidditch pitch.

 

I can barely contain the fact that I'm shaking, whether it's from the cool weather or my nerves I have yet to decide. Next to me James and Sirius are the epitome of cool and calm with their faces set like stone, hardly moving an inch as they stare intently at Lucius Malfoy.

 

“Didn't think you'd actually show Malfoy,” James said once everyone had shown up on the pitch.

 

“And miss the chance to wipe that cocky grin off your face Potter?” Malfoy responded sinisterly.

 

I heard James snicker next to me before clearing his throat and speaking loudly. “Now that everyone is here we can start. To keep things fair we will each have someone from our own House to be a referee. For our team we have Avery.”

 

Everyone turned to look at me and I could feel my stomach drop to my feet with Slytherin's intense glares. Malfoy was looking slightly amused by the situation. “What, you've recruited your little girlfriend? Does she even know the difference between a quaffle and a bludger?”

 

“I'll have you know Malfoy that I've helped in creating half the plays that defeated the other teams. I have more talent in my pinky than you contain in your entire being, you little toe-rag.” My voice and response surprised me. As I looked around I could see everyone else equally as shocked as I was. Malfoy's smirk went from amused to a scowl.

 

“Sure, you've won against the cotton ball for brain teams. You have yet to use your plays against a real team.”

 

“Alright, alright,” James said stepping forward and taking control of the situation. “Let's get started, we all know Malfoy needs his beauty rest. Who do you have as referee?”

 

“Severus of course,” Malfoy said stepping aside and revealing Snape.

 

“Oh, well that's cheating. As soon as Snivellus starts flying the grease will fall from his his hair and hit everyone.” Sirius's comment caused a chorus of laughter on the Gryffindor side.

 

“Mess with me again Black and I'll hex you,” Snape said menacingly, grabbing his wand from his pocket. Sirius was quick to react and drew out his wand and aimed it at Snape.

 

“Stop,” James said putting his arms up between Sirius and Snape. “We can duel another time. But now we will play Quidditch. Pads, put your wand away.” Sirius looked at James for a moment of hesitation before resigning and slipping his wand back into his pocket. “Good, now I think everyone knows the rules. Avery, when we're up in the air released the bludgers, alright?”

 

I nodded my head in understanding as I walked towards the trunk. Everyone mounted their brooms and shot into the air. James waved at me and I released the latch on the trunk and the bludgers and snitch came flying out. I threw the quaffle into the air and the game quickly started with Slytherin in possession. I mounted my broom and pushed off from the ground and hovered on the opposite end of the playing field of Snape.

 

Slytherin had attempted to score a goal but it was deflected and Gryffindor came into possession. Gryffindor was nearing the goal when I heard a whistle. Everyone stopped and Snape declared loudly “Sirius Black, foul for bumphing.”

 

“What!” Sirius yelled loudly. “The bloody bludger was no where near your goal keeper!”

 

“I call it as I see it Black,” Snape snarled. “Gryffindor must return possession to Slytherin.”

 

“Bollocks!” Sirius yelled before soaring back to his end of the pitch. Snape had a satisfied smirk on his face as he happily took the quaffle from James and threw it to Lucius.

 

Slytherin quickly went from defensive to offensive form and charged towards the Gryffindor goals. I held my breath as Lucius rounded closer to the goals. He faked right but luckily our goal keeper was quick enough to catch his bluff and deflected the ball. James was back in possession and darting towards the goal. The chasers were performing an intricate move by circling around and under each other and in the darkness it was even harder to keep up. I saw James wind up and screamed with excitement when the quaffle went through the hoop.

 

“Gryffindor 10, Slytherin 0.” I yelled loudly as I shot my wand into the air and a golden tally mark appeared above my head.

 

I heard Lucius curse loudly and gave him a satisfied smirk. He fixed his eyes forward and he and Regulus tossed the ball between each other as they made their way towards the goal. My heart sunk once a heard a victorious cry from Slytherin and Snape shot his wand into the air signaling a goal for Slytherin.

 

The game continued for twenty more minutes as possession kept on switching. My hands were growing numb and my face was frozen as I continued to sit outside on the broomstick. I braved a glance over at Sirius whose eyes were fixed on the game. I smiled as I took in his intense face, how the dim lighting only magnified his dark features rather than hindering them. His black hair clung to his face from sweat and his bat was poised and ready to swing at anything that came his way. His beauty was a little haunting, as if that kind of handsome shouldn't exist. He was like a character out of a book; tall, dark, handsome, troubled with a bit of a bad boy streak, but deep down was one of the most caring and loyal people I had ever met.

 

He must've sensed me looking at him because he glanced at me and once he met my eyes he gave me a small smile. I felt myself blush and went to return the smile but all of a sudden I felt a heavy weight hit me from behind. The force hit me so hard that the wind was knocked out of me and I lunged forward on my broom, my body sliding off of it as I lost balance. I tried to scream but I couldn't find the air to do it as my body fell from the broom. At the last second I was able to grab onto the broom with my right hand. I looked up and saw Lucius giving me a victorious grin.

 

“Looks like we've won,” he said to me. To my horror I looked over and the Slytherin seeker was waving the snitch victoriously in his hands. I swore under my breath and tried to use all my strength to swing my body up on the broom. I got one leg over but my strength quickly left and I hung again. Right as I was beginning to panic I felt hands on my waist. I looked down and saw Sirius hovering under me.

 

“Let go,” he instructed. “You can get onto my broom.”

 

I hesitated for a moment before letting go. Sirius positioned my body so that I landed on his broom and was sitting in front of him. He kept one hand on my waist and used the other to slowly steer the broomstick down. Within a few seconds we hit the ground and I immediately saw that James and Lucius were arguing.

 

“You bloody cheated Malfoy!” James declared heatedly as he rounded in on Lucius, his wand held threatening to Malfoy's throat.

 

“I can't help it that your referee has no balance and fell off her broom and distracted your team.”

 

“Don't give me that Malfoy, you pushed Avery off her broom.”

 

Lucius shrugged and raised a hand, pushing James' wand away. “Your team should learn to not be so easily distracted. We won.”

 

Malfoy pushed me off on purpose to distract the team? We lost because he used me as a distraction?

 

The realization caused a surge of anger to course through my body as I stared at Malfoy.

 

That's it. I'm tired of being pushed around, literally and figuratively.

 

My whole body tensed and my hands turned into fists as I marched up to Malfoy. No one noticed me as James continued to yell at him, and so when I stood right in front of Malfoy and punched him right

in the nose, a satisfying crunch sounded upon impact, everyone looked at me in shock.

 

“You ever mess with me again Malfoy and it will be more than your face that's broken.”

 

Despite the fact that a trail of blood was falling from his nose he smirked at me. “Please you got lucky with that shot.”

 

“Oh yeah?” I said and then wound up my foot and kicked him right in the groin, making him fall to his knees. “Looks like a I got lucky again.”

 

A/N: Alright so I don't really like this chapter, it's taken me forever to write and I've re-written it a few times but I'm just not pleased with it. Ah well...stick with me because I swear the next chapter is going to be GOOD. Crap is going to hit the fan! In the best way possible :) And thank you to all my reviewers!!! I wish I could say something else besides thank you but I don't know how else to express my appreciation for all of you :)

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