I tugged at my robes nervously, stopping at every window to check my reflection and fix my hair. My palms were sweating, my breath was coming out in short puffs, and I think a rash was forming along my right arm.

Remus was waiting for me down by the lake.

Let me repeat: Remus Bloody Lupin was waiting for me.

“None of this real, none of this is real,” I muttered to myself as I slipped out the large front doors. A hefty gust of wind tried to knock me over, causing me to stumble to the side a little, but I pulled my robes closer to my body and pressed on.

I might not be a Gryffindor, but that doesn’t mean I’m a coward.

“He’s just a boy, none of this is real. Those aren’t butterflies in my stomach. Nope. I just ate too much at lunch.”

I stumbled a little as Remus came into view. He smiled and waved, looking as cute as ever. “I’m glad you came!”

“Of course,” I squeaked. “What did you want to meet for?”

“It’s about Rebecca Swanson,” he said. I could feel the butterflies within me die. Of course, this isn’t real!

I didn’t trust myself to speak, so I just nodded.

“Her letters to me have increased, I don’t think she takes us seriously,” Remus ran a hand through his hair, a habit he must have picked up from stupid Potter. “James and Sirius think we should take things to the next level.”

Oh Merlin, the butterflies were back tenfold. Actually, scratch that, it was a bloody minefield in there.

All I could manage in reply was a squeak that I hoped sounded like a “yes.”

“Great! I mean, I’m not exactly sure what ‘the next level’ means….” Remus blushed. “Should we just start tomorrow?”

More affirmative squeaks from me, which caused Remus to smile. Before I could prepare my body, he leaned forward and embraced me a wonderful, warm hug. I was in such shock that I totally forgot to hug him back.

“Um, right,” mumbled Remus, pulling back. Things were now awkward. “See you tomorrow.”

I fell back unceremoniously onto my bed in a jumble of blankets and pillows. I think I moaned a few times, but my mind was too frazzled to notice anything my body was doing.

“Oh, what’s your problem?” Cue the judging voice of Nola.

I sat up abruptly. I must have looked like a crazy person because Nola’s eye widened and she set her Potions book slowly. “What does love feel like?”

Nola stared unwaveringly for what felt like an eternity before bursting into ugly laughter. “You’re kidding, right? Please tell me you’ve just gone barmy,” she wheezed once she could breathe properly again.

When I didn’t respond right away she sobered up instantaneously. “You cannot be in love with Loony Lupin!”
“Shush!” I screamed, scrambling across the room and clamping a hand over her big mouth.

The other girls in the room looked up with mild curiosity, but this sort of scene wasn’t unusual so it wasn’t long before they went back to their own business. Thank Merlin Ravenclaws weren’t the biggest gossips.

Nola and I had a silent, but intense, conversation full of lots of eyebrow wiggling. Once I was sure she wasn’t going to continue yelling about my love life I removed my hand.

“You have issues,” she mumbled angrily.

“Okay, look, I don’t love Remus, I was just… wondering.” I could feel the flames licking at my skin again, but Nola didn’t need to know about that. Actually, there was a lot of stuff lately that she didn’t need to know about…

“But you have to admit that he is pretty fit.”

“What is going on between you two anyway? You guys barely spend any time together.”

This time I couldn’t repress the blush that overtook my face. I could feel his strong arms around me again, as if he had never let go. “We actually talked about that today. We’re going to take things to the next level!”

Nola cocked an eyebrow. “What does that even mean?”

“I was hoping you could tell me!” I groaned, flopping back onto the mattress. What was the point of happiness if you didn’t even know what it meant?

Not to mention it wasn’t real… I grabbed the closest pillow and tried to smother myself. I was surprised to find that the coolness of the cotton had a calming effect on my emotions.

“Oh, don’t be so dramatic! If you like the guy, than so be it.”

I froze in my self-loathing. Was Nola actually being supportive? “Even if it is absolutely inane.” Ahh. There she was!

I removed the pillow and took a deep breath as I rolled onto my side. I found a loose thread in the fabric and began picking at it absentmindedly. “I have a confession to make…”

My voice was small but Nola heard me. Her crystal blue eyes twinkled with rare concern as she turned to face me fully. “Is everything okay?”

And just like that the truth came flowing out like a broken dam. I told Nola everything from my first meeting with James all that time ago, to the agreement Remus and I made on our first date. We discussed and analyzed the meeting we had earlier today by the lake and what exactly is going to come in the following weeks.

“Sounds like you’re in quite the pickle,” she teased. “What are you going to do about these feelings of yours?”

The loose thread finally came loose, leaving behind a small hole. I quickly scooted over so Nola wouldn’t see the damage. “I’m thinking I’ll just ignore it.”

Nola chuckled. “Yeah, because denial never hurt anyone.”

Rolling my eyes, I crawled out of Nola’s bed and jumped into my own. As I settled into a comfortable position, thoughts of Remus filled my head and I could practically feels his warmth wrap around me. I fell asleep to butterflies doing back flips right behind my navel.

A/N: Sorry for the long wait. Life has been crazy, and I hate to admit it but this chapter isn't all that great.
If you see any errors of any kind just let me know. I didn't really proofread haha

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