Hi All! Thank you so much for reading. I hope that you guys are enjoying it as much as I am. Remember, I only own Hope.. everything else belongs to JK.
I didn’t know how it happened but somehow James Potter and I had become, wait for it, “study buddies.” It had been going on for about a week, and I still wasn’t completely comfortable with it. The first night it had happened, I had been sitting in the library – in my deserted corner by the Restricted Section – when he had thrown his books on the table with a loud clash. Immediately, my stomach had lurched forward – before I even saw him.
“What are you doing here?” I said, my mouth agape and my tone accusatory.
“I’m here to study,” he grunted.
“Why here?” I prodded him, pushing his Defense of the Dark Arts textbook away from my Moon Charts.
“Because you don’t talk,” he began, and then ran a hand through his hair. “And I just got a Howler from my mum about how if I ever planned on being an Auror or getting a summer internship at the Ministry then my marks would need to drastically improve.” James looked frazzled, but I was always more comfortable around him when he was grumpy.
“Oh,” I paused, and then brought my attention back to tracing perfect circles for my Moon Charts.
And then it just became a sort of a regular thing. Just like Sirius and me making out in my bed with a silence charm surrounding us every night had become a regular thing. The first time that had happened it freaked me out greatly, too.
I was sitting on my bed the same night that Sirius had told me he loved me, playing with Jack and floating on sheer bliss. The rest of the girls in my room were asleep, their curtains closed to keep the noise of the outside world from waking them. I was busy moving Jack’s paws around against his will and blowing raspberries on his stomach when a knock at my window made me fall off my bed.
Rubbing my head, I stood up and walked over to my window – where I saw Sirius levitating on a broom. He smirked, and motioned for me to open my window. I did and stuck my head out.
“Bloody hell, you’re high up!” I gasped, and got dizzy as I gazed at the far off grass. Sirius chuckled, put his broomstick up against my bed and dragged me on to my mattress. Quickly, he closed the curtains and muttered a silencing charm around us. Jack pawed happily at the curtains, which brushed open against his kitten force.
“Claustrum,” I murmured and the curtains themselves locked. I had figured out this locking charm during my more morbid years – when I didn’t want anyone to disrupt me. Sirius smiled at me. “You’re not the first boy to fly to my bedroom window, you know,” I said with a smirk. He frowned.
“Who…” But before he could query any further, I leaned forward and kissed him quickly on the lips. Then I pulled away just as quickly.
“What if someone finds you up here?” I poked him. “We could get expelled! My roommate is Head Girl.”
“My roommate’s Head Boy,” he smiled. “And I think the combination of our charms will keep us from being figured out. I can go,” he paused, his eyes searching mine, “if you want.”
I bit my bottom lip, and stared at him.
“Well, I didn’t mean I wanted you to go,” I muttered under my breath. He laughed loudly, then reached forward and pulled my face into his.
So I spent evenings in the library studying with James Potter and nights making out in my dorm room with Sirius Black. It was like having two boyfriends, when in all actuality, I didn’t even have one. Sure, Sirius and I were together in some sense – but if I even thought of the word “girlfriend,” I got all hot, twitchy and awkward. More so than usual. It just wasn’t something I could handle.
But back to James and me, and our awkward studying arrangement.
It had been about a week of secret make-outs and study sessions when James brought up the subject of Remus. I was creating a detailed outline on the Cerberus. Professor Kettleburn, the Care of Magical Creatures professor, had just gotten one, er, three? The first time I saw the three-headed puppy, I was taken aback. But it was still in its puppy years, so we would be able to interact with it before it was transferred to the guard dog unit of the Ministry of Magic.
“So, you and Sirius,” James said casually. I looked up to see him tapping his quill against a blank sheet of parchment.
I stared at him, waiting for him to continue. He seemed to be waiting too, waiting to see what I would say.
“God blast, Hope, you’re not going to tell me anything are you?” I laughed.
“I’m not your best friend, he is.” I paused. “Why don’t you ask him?” I flipped the pages of my Care of Magical Creatures text, and pulled slightly back when a highly animated Cerberus drawing jumped out at me.
“I have asked him. We’ve all asked him. He’s remaining rather tight-lipped about the situation.” James looked at me curiously, and I shrugged.
“Well, I guess that’s that then.” I figured that the Marauders were most likely freaking out that they didn’t know what was going on with Sirius and me. They had been so close for so long, that being out of the loop didn’t come naturally to them. To tell the truth, I didn’t really know what was going on between Sirius and myself, but, “I guess it’s all figured out, James.”
James looked up, a slight smirk on his face.
“Well then, are you going to work on figuring things out with Remus?”
My left hand immediately clenched around my quill, causing it to snap. James looked at it in surprise, and then ran a hand through his hair.
“Merlin, you’re still that put off by it, ey?” I sighed.
“I don’t want to be, but I just,” I paused for a moment – trying to find the right words. “I just can’t really help it. I think back to that night and I just,” I looked down at my broken quill, “tense up.”
James took me in silently, a concerned look on his face. He then pulled a fresh quill from his bag and pushed it across the table towards me.
“You guys are together in Charms though, right?”
I nodded, and thought about how my grades in Charms had been slipping. Professor Flitwick chalked my nervousness up to a side effect of the coma, and I guess technically he was right. Though, it would be more correct to say that sitting next to Remus made me react spastically every time I tried a new charm.
“Yeah,” I sighed.
“And that’s going well, isn’t it?” James prodded, carefully. This was a weird conversation, and I didn’t really understand why I was having it with James Potter. I finally snapped out of my daze.
“Why exactly do you care so much?” I began gathering my books together. “I thought you wanted to sit with me because I didn’t talk.” I began to walk away, but stopped when I passed him. “I’m the one who was attacked, okay? I’m the one who was unconscious for three months. I’m not blaming Remus, exactly but you all need to understand that it’s going to take time, and it’s going to take effort but can you all please just accept that I’m not ready yet.”
I felt the tears falling from my eyes before I even left the library. I quickly wiped them away with the sleeve of my cloak, and clenched my eyes shut for a moment to keep them from further falling.
“Hope?” A soft voice caused me to whirl around. Lena was standing alone in the corridor, holding her cauldron at her side.
“Oh, hey Lena,” I sighed – relieved to see her. I took a step towards her. “What’s up?”
“Not,” she paused, “much.” She seemed a little zoned out, but then snapped herself back to attention. “I was just doing some extra credit Potions experiments with Professor Slughorn.” Her cauldron wobbled at her side. “What’s up with you?”
“Um, not much.” I held up my Care of Magical Creatures textbook. “I’ve been working on my Cerberus outline.” I watched Lena bite her lip, clearly remembering the outline was due at the end of this week.
“Oh, bollocks, I totally forgot about Fluffy’s outline.”
“Fluffy,” Lena sighed and waved her cauldron around a bit. “You know, the puppy. Puppies?” She looked confused. “It needed a name, and so when I was putting in some extra time with Fluffy to try and connect. Cerberuses have a tendency to become so aggressive. And Fluffy is staying right behind Hagrid’s hut, so we both decided he needed a name.”
“Hah,” I paused. “Hagrid? The groundskeeper?” Lena smiled at me.
“He’s quite nice.” She was silent. “Want to walk together? I think we make it to the dancing Suits of Armor before we need to split off.” I nodded, and we fell into step together. It was nice walking with Lena, she didn’t ask a lot of questions and seemed comfortable with silence.
“You do a lot of extra credit work,” I offered up as we turned down a darkened corridor. Lena nodded.
“It takes up time. And I don’t really have that many friends here,” she smiled happily. “Transferring in the second half of sixth year isn’t really prime time for a social life. But the professors are super friendly, and you’ve been great.”
My stomach shifted uncomfortably. I hadn’t really been that great of a friend to Lena. I had been all caught up in being freaked out by Remus and captivated by Sirius.
“Sorry I haven’t seen you around much,” I apologized lamely. Lena nudged me with her cauldron.
“After your summer?” She looked at me in surprise. “It’s bound to be expected. Sometimes it’s just easier to be alone.”
We had reached the dancing Suits of Armor, who did a little jig when they realized we were standing in front of them. Lena giggled, and we both thanked them. She mentioned that she’d meet up with me in the library tomorrow to work on “Fluffy’s” outline.
When I got to my room, my curtains were already closed and I had to jam them open with a counter-lock Charm. Thankfully, when I wasn’t in Charms, my spells were still excellent. I opened my curtains to see Sirius and Jack playing on my bed. Sighing, I dropped my books and curled up underneath my blankets. Sirius gave me a sympathetic look, and sat opposite with me. I placed my feet in his lap and he slowly began to rub them.
“I heard what happened in the library,” he offered after a moment of silence I shrugged.
“Moments after it happened, I’m sure.” I was being a brat, but the whole thing with James had left a sour taste in my mouth. Surprisingly, Sirius let it slide. I curled onto my side and suddenly he was behind me, wrapping his arms around me.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
I shook my head, but then words started falling out.
“I don’t want to be scared every time I see him. Remus was, is, my friend. He’s always been so sweet to me but it’s just, now…” I sniffed, and tears began distorting my vision. “Now every time I see him, I remember first waking up and realized that I had been, just,” I sighed heavily, “gone.”
Sirius was silent behind me, and for that I was thankful.
“I don’t even know what happened that night really, all I know is I thought I was going to lose you but then suddenly I lost myself.” The tears were falling freely now, but it felt good to voice my feelings – even if they didn’t make sense to me.
“Hope,” Sirius rolled me over so that we were face to face.
“I’m sorry, I’m rambling.” I smiled through my tears. Sirius frowned at me, his eyes became serious and I felt goose bumps pop up on my arms.
“You aren’t rambling. You should be able to talk to me about it, I’m…” he paused. A panicked expression came across my face – and I was sure he noticed. He sighed. “I’m someone who loves you.” I smiled, but I couldn’t help but hear a hint of sadness in his voice.
“I’m not ready,” I murmured. I wasn’t sure if I was talking about Remus, or our relationship. Either way, it worked. Sirius nodded.
“It takes time,” he said, pushing my hair out of my face – carefully answering both options.
We lay on my twin bed, facing one another, whispering to each other softly until we both fell asleep.
About a week. That’s how long it took before things started getting weird again. I thought that for once everything could just be normal. Well, as normal as it could be when you’re a nutter.
I was walking back to the dormitory after a late night Astrology class. My star charts were bunched underneath my arms and I hurried along – attempting to put some distance between myself and my classmates. While I loved Astrology, my classmates in the subject weren’t people I really wanted to be around that late at night. Mainly because they included Tabitha and her best friend Vivica Hecklesworth. Basically, people I could do without.
Ever since I had gotten back to school, one would have thought Tabitha would have been nicer to me. After all, I was her cousin and I had spent the summer in a coma. We had only had one real conversation since back in school.
“Glad you didn’t die, Hopeless,” she muttered on the first day of Astrology.
“Gee, thanks Tabs,” I replied sarcastically.
She had pretty much left me alone after that. I’m pretty sure she wanted to go back to the point in time when people didn’t realize we were related. Not that I think our relation caused her reputation to falter, but I think she did. And since Sirius and I were keeping, well, whatever we were pretty low key – she didn’t have any reason to hate me.
I was hurrying along, when a stomach cramp caused me to slow my pace. I heard Tabitha and Vivica chatting behind me and my face fell when Sirius appeared, literally, out of nowhere.
“Well, hello there,” he shot me a dazzling smile and took my bag off my shoulder. My heart began pounding in my ears as the distance between Tabitha and myself shortened.
“Where did you come from?” I hissed through my teeth. Sirius shrugged.
“It’s a Marauder thing,” he explained. “I thought you would want some company on your walk.” He threw his hands up and then winked at me.
“This isn’t the time to be cheeky, Sirius,” I sighed and forged onward down the hall. It didn’t matter though, she had spotted him.
Sirius froze when he heard her voice and then looked to me with a pleading, panicked expression.
“Bloody hell,” he muttered.
“Give me my bag,” I hissed back. “Now.” He handed me back my bag, halfheartedly. “I’m not sticking around for this.” I heard could hear Tabitha and Vivica giggling. There was no way I wanted to be seen with Sirius at this moment. I would have a bounty on my head by the next morning.
“But,” Sirius looked at me in confusion, “what am I supposed to say?”
“I’m sure you’ll think of something charming,” I muttered and felt hot tears spring to my eyes. Great, I thought. This again.
I stumbled down the hallway, not sticking around to listen to my cousin flirt with my, uh, Sirius. I wasn’t even watching where I was going, so I couldn’t even say I was surprised when I tripped on a stray cobblestone and fell face first onto the ground. My star charts flew out from underneath my arm and I scurried to pick them up. Wiping my nose with my sleeve, I blinked my eyes together to try and stop the tears. When I opened my eyes, a hand was outstretched and holding my star charts towards me.
I looked up and saw Remus Lupin, hesitantly holding my homework.
Can’t a girl catch a break?
“Is, uh,” he paused and attempted to gauge my reaction. I was too frazzled to run away. “Is everything, uh, okay, Hope?”
Well, that was a loaded question.
“Umm,” I bit my bottom lip, and sighed heavily. Tears trickled down my cheeks. “Just feeling a bit overwhelmed.” Remus nodded, and placed my star charts underneath his arm. He then offered me a hand to pull myself up from the floor.
I stared at his outstretched hand for at least a minute or two, before Remus muttered under his breath, “I’m sorry. That was forward of me.” With that, I grabbed his hand before he could pull it away.
We stared at each other for a moment, our hands still clasped.
“Hope,” Remus cleared his throat, “you will never know how sorry I am for my actions that night. There is absolutely no excuse and I just hope that over time you can forgive me.” I nodded, and shot him a small smile.
“I’m sorry too, Remus,” I blushed. “I’ve been a bit immature about this whole thing – instead of just being an adult and sorting it out with you. I’m sorry for making things more awkward then they needed to be – it’s just kind of my thing.” He laughed, and we made our way towards the Common Room.
“I don’t suppose you’d like to tell me why you’ve been crying?” He asked, carefully. “I’m hoping it doesn’t have anything to do with a certain best friend of mine?”
I had forgotten how insightful Remus Lupin was. I sighed, and pushed my hair away from my face.
“Sirius appeared out of nowhere to walk me back from Astrology, but Tabitha was right behind us. She saw him, I bolted. Naturally, tears came.” I wanted to kick myself. “I’m such a girl.” Remus laughed lightly.
“Well, are you worried? I mean, Sirius is pretty head over heels for you.” I shrugged.
“I just worry. I’m nowhere near ready for a serious relationship. I won’t even entertain the thought of calling him my, uh, boyfriend.” I rubbed the back of my head. “If it gets serious, then it will end – you know?” Remus nodded slightly. “And Tabitha, well, her agenda’s written clearly across her face. She would love to date Sirius, to marry him and show him off as a trophy forever.” I paused. “If he actually compares us, I’m toast.” Remus chuckled.
“Hope, believe me, Sirius could have any girl in this castle.” I glared at him and he held a hand up to shield himself. “He loves you. Sure, you might drive him a little crazy with your relationship holdups but he’s not going anywhere. I think he proved that to you this summer.”
“I just worry,” I sighed. “Tabitha’s just so, perfect, you know? And I’m just so… hopeless.” We were about five feet away from the Fat Lady’s portrait, where I saw Sirius pacing with his hands in his pockets. Remus noted him, and smiled down at me.
“I don’t think you have anything to worry about,” he said to me and handed me back my star charts.
Sirius caught sight of us then, and instead of noting that Remus and I were walking together, he began to lay into me.
“What was that? You left me all alone with those girls and they were terrifying I might add. It was all ‘Siri, this’ and ‘Siri, that,” and ‘Oh did you work out over the summer, Siri, you’re looking ever so fit.’” He paused. “You’re supposed to help me out of these situations!” He then seemed to put together that Remus and I were standing side by side. “Well, well, well what do we have here?” A Cheshire cat grin spread across his attractive face, and he brought the three of us together in a giant group hug. “Does this mean we can all eat together again? Well it’s about bloody well time!”
I hope you enjoyed it! Next chapter coming soon. Please review, it’s really is helpful to know what you guys think!
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