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Chapter Seventeen~*~Candy



Sirius watched as Heather made her way out of the Great Hall. He got the distinct feeling that she was trying to escape. He had watched her little chat with Remus, and didn’t know what to think of it. Remus seemed to be asking her for something, but Heather had obviously refused. He gave a long sigh. Remus, standing up at last, made his way back over to them. Sirius couldn’t help the resent that curled inside him. Remus obviously knew something he didn’t. He had often caught Remus looking at him with guilt in his eyes. Was there more to Heather’s relationship with Moony than he knew?

“Hey Moony!” James said jovially. Sirius watched closely as Remus forced a smile.

“Boy am I starved. Sorry I’m late,” he said, sitting down opposite them, next to Lily.

“What were you doing?” Lily asked, taking a sip of pumpkin juice.

“Just putting my books away,” Remus said cooly. Sirius felt as if he had been punched in the stomach. Obviously, he didn’t want them to know of his meeting with Heather. This was definitely not sounding good.

“You were...putting your books away?” Sirius asked calmly. Everybody grew silent. Shock rang throughout the friends. Sirius was actually talking now?

“Well, well. Finally, Sirius is back! We thought maybe you had lost the ability to talk!” James said cautiously.

“You were putting books away? Did you say?” Sirius repeated, ignoring James and focusing all of his attention on Remus. Remus gave a shifty nod.

“That’s what I said,” he said, trying to act normal. There was another long, uncomfortable silence, in which Sirius stared knowingly at Remus, who was squirming beneath Sirius’ piercing gaze. “Well,” he said, getting up, “I have some homework to finish up. See you.” And with that Remus scurried away.

“Tomorrow’s Saturday,” James, Lily, and Sirius said together. Lily and James looked cautiously at Sirius, who was bristling. Without a word, he got up and left, his heart pounding in his ears.

~~~

Remus hurried along the hallway, his brain boiling. What was he doing? He had to tell Sirius. But he couldn’t betray Heather! His decisions were torn in half, and he didn’t know what was the right thing to do. It completely frazzled him. He was Remus Lupin! Cool, calm, smart, and always knew just what to do. He never had any doubt as to what the right thing was, and he always thought things out first.

He was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn’t even realize where he was going. Seconds later he smashed right into something. He nearly fell over. Looking around him, he saw Sirius standing before him. His eyes were full of fire, and he looked murderous. Remus closed his eyes. He really didn’t need this right now.

“What’s going on between you and Heather?” Sirius growled.

“Nothing,” Remus said firmly, walking past him. Sirius grabbed his arm roughly.

“Tell me!” he roared.

“I did!” Remus roared back, jerking his arm free. This seemed to enfuriate Sirius. He grabbed Remus by the throat and slammed him against the wall as hard as he could. Remus shoved him off onto the ground with surprising strength. Sirius came pack for more, trying to punch him in the face. Remus ducked, and Sirius’ fist slammed into the stone wall. Pain erupted throughout his hand, as his knuckles busted open. This made him even more furious.

“You knew I loved her!’ Sirius yelled, grabbing Remus' shoulders and throwing him on the ground. “You knew and you did it anyway!” He tried to kick Remus, but Remus simply grabbed his foot, and Sirius tripped.

“You know that’s not true, Sirius,” Remus said calmly, standing up. Sirius stood up too, and tried half-heartedly to punch him again. Remus grabbed his arm. “How many times have I tried to hook up with a girl, Sirius. It never works out, and you know it. I’m a Werewolf. If I even tried to kiss them too close to full moon, the consequences...” he stopped, his heart wrenching. He would never have a proper relationship, and he knew it. So did Sirius. Sirius sank to the floor, a pathetic heap.

“Why did she do this?” he sobbed. “How did I wrong her?” he said again, his head in his hands, shaking in pain. Remus sat down too, thinking. If only Heather would tell him why she was doing this, he could make a better decision.... He shook his head. He couldn’t betray her. But no longer would he let Sirius suffer. He would get the information out of Heather. She had to tell him! He couldn’t stand being in the middle like this.

“Sirius, it’s alright. Everything will be alright,” Remus said softly.

“How would you know?” Sirius snapped, his head shooting up. “You’ve never loved anybody! You can’t! You’re just a Werewolf! You’ll never love anybody, and nobody will ever love you! How can you possibly say everything will be alright when you could never even dream of feeling the way I do about her!” There was a dead silence. Sirius realized what he had just said. Remus’ face hardened, and Sirius knew then and there he had said something terrible. Remus didn’t get angry or hurt at much, but Sirius knew that what he had just said had hit a rare nerve. Sirius half expected Remus to punch him, in fact, he would have preferred it to this stony faced silence. Remus nodded.

“You’re right,” he said coldly, standing up.

“Remus...” Sirius began, but Remus was already walking away. Sirius slammed his fist into the stone in fury again. How could he be so heartless? Just because he was in terrible pain, didn’t mean he had to be nasty to Remus. Standing up, he thought of a place he could think. A place where none of the other Marauders would go. He nodded. The Library.

~~~

Alex leaned against the wall. What was she doing? She had no idea. Should she tell Sirius? Or would that endanger Heather more? And then, should she even trust Heather? What about her parents? Maybe Voldemort just found him on his own.... She closed her eyes in frustration.

“Are you alright?” Peter asked softly, watching her troubled face. She smiled.

“Yeah...well no. Peter, I’m so confused. I don’t know what to think...” she started. Peter grabbed her hand, encouraging her to continue. “That night...when...”

“When your parents died...” Peter assisted. She nodded.

“Seconds before the letter arrived...Heather came out of the bathroom, looking sick. Really sick, like maybe she had just thrown up. She said...she said she knew that Voldemort had found my parents and that we needed to find them and help them....” Peter stared, unsure what to think.

“What are you saying? You think she can tell the future?”

“I don’t know. At first, I was so upset, I thought maybe she had told Voldemort about my parents, because she is a Malfoy and everything. But now that just doesn’t make sense. Why would she hate Lucius so much? And then, when we asked Lucius for help, he seemed insistent on getting her to join Voldemort. That suggests that...she isn’t a Death Eater,” Alex finished. Peter stared in confusion.

“Heather can tell the future?!” Peter said.

“Well...it’s possible. Maybe she is a seer, or something,” Alex said unsure. “You see? I’m not sure what to do.” Peter nodded, understanding. His first impulse was to run and tell Lucius that Heather could see the future. But then, immediately, he chastised himself. Alex would definitely not like it if he did that. Alex was all that mattered.

“I think...we should talk to Remus. He obviously knows something. Didn’t you see him at dinner? He was talking with her. Let’s see what he thinks. Remus always knows what to do,” Peter said smiling. He knew that whatever problem they had, Remus would most likely know what to do. He always did.

“You’re right, Peter. Thanks. I really don’t know what I would do without a friend like you around...” she said. Peter looked nervously at her, wanting very much to kiss her. He shied away from the idea almost immediately though. He had never kissed a girl before. He didn’t want to scare her away. If all he could do was be her friend...so be it. As all these thoughts went through his mind, however, he didn’t notice Alex getting closer, and closer. Soon, she was right in front of him. And before he knew it, she had place a kiss on his lips. He responded immediately, but was unsure what to do. Alex seemed to know though, so he let her lead, copying her movements.

Alex broke away, a shy smile curving her face. “That was your first kiss wasn’t it?” she said. Peter blushed, nodding. “Amazing. All the idiots I normally kiss are all way too experienced, and full of themselves. You’re different. I like that.”

“Thanks... you too...” Peter said stupidly. Alex laughed, and then grabbed his hand.

“Let’s go find Remus.”

~~~

Remus walked around outside, for a long time, trying to calm himself down. His breath came in short gasps, and his heart felt like it had just gone through a blender. What was bothering him wasn’t what Sirius had said, but the fact that it was completely true. He would never know true love. It was impossible. He was a Werewolf. He sat down beside the lake, watching as the Giant Squid made it’s graceful way along the edges of the water. Crisp air rustled his sand-colored hair. He looked slowly at the stars that seemed to rain their shame down upon him. He leaned back as he wondered the thing he had wondered since the day he had received the Werewolf bite. Since he was nine years old. He remembered the day clearly. It had been late at night, just outside The Flagon, a Wizards bar near London. His father, as usual, stopped in for a ‘quick’ drink with his buddies before returning home. And, as was inevitable, Remus sat outside on the curb, listening to drunken roars of laughter.

At first he had heard a faint rustling noise, but it soon turned into a loud growl as a full-grown Werewolf burst through the bushes. Remus had tried to run into the safety of the bar, but he didn’t make it. As the horrid memory washed over him, he pulled up his pant-leg, and saw the jagged scar on his calf. He wiped his eyes viciously, that a bite could ruin his entire life so effectively.

“That’s a hefty bite you’ve got there...” a cheery voice said from right behind him. Remus practically leapt out of his skin. He jumped into the air, whirling around, his heart beating painfully fast and his eyes twice their usual size. He turned to see a girl, about his age, standing before him as if by accident. He vaguely remembered seeing her around the school. He examined her more closely now. She was a Gryffindor, but he didn’t recognize her from his year. She was perhaps a year younger. She had short blonde hair with rather shocking streaks of dark blue. The blue went nicely with her light grey eyes. She was of average height, and petite. She had rather swollen lips that seemed to curve up naturally, giving her a permanently pleased look.

“I don’t want to be rude but...who the hell are you?!” Remus said, still breathing deeply. She smiled, reaching out her hand.

“Please to meet you. I’m Candy Florrence!” she said, shaking his hand vigorously. Remus gave a snort, and then realized she was serious.

“Your name...is Candy?” he asked incredulously. “For real?”

“Well... my full name is Candicia, but all of my friends call me Candy!” she said.

“So I’m your friend now?” Remus asked, amused.

“Of course! Unless you don’t want to be friends, in which case I’m sorry I ever bugged you. What’s your name? And where did you get that cut?” she said all in one breath.

“I’m Remus Lupin,” he said ignoring her second question. “I’ve only seen you around a few times. What year are you in?” he asked.

“Sixth,” she provided, sitting down on the ground and pulling him with her. He stared in shock. This was a very bizarre girl.

“I’m in seventh,” Remus said.

“Yes, I know. You were Prefect,” she said informatively.

“Yes...” Remus said. “Why are you out here?” he asked.

“Well, It’s actually quite a long story. You see, I was with my friend Elizabeth, and we were going to play some chess before bed, but then she decided to ditch me, and hang out with this guy, Colin. He’s a real jerk, trust me. Anyway, other people don’t really like to hang out with me very much. Elizabeth is my only friend. I kind of stretched the truth about my ‘friends’ calling me Candy. Only my family and Elizabeth, and other people that aren’t my friends. I’m sorry about that, but I was kind of shocked when I saw your scar and I figured that you needed somebody to talk to and you wouldn’t want to talk to me unless you thought I had friends.” Remus stared, completely speechless. This was the oddest encounter he had ever had.

“Why don’t you have any friends?” he said, rather indignantly.

“Well...people think that I am weird. I do what I want, when I want to do it! I died my hair blue, I sometimes save my homework until the last minute, I speak my mind, If I think that somebody is being rude, I say so. Also, if somebody is lying I point it out. I never tell people’s secrets, so I’m not much for gossip, which seems to be all the girls in my year think about! My worse flaw, it seems is that I’m honest. Painfully so. Oh...yeah and they think I talk to much,” she finished proudly. Remus gave a laugh.

“No...why would they think you talk to much?” he said sarcastically. She searched his face for a second, and then realized he was joking. She gave a laugh.

“Oh, you’re funny! And subtle about it as well! I’ve met people that are funny, but...you know, like too obvious about it? Like they will say something that could be funny, but then they say as if it was really funny, and it kind of loses it’s humor, because it’s so obvious, and you don’t have to search for it and...”

“I’m glad you liked it!” Remus said, exasperated, yet still smiling. Oddly, he felt a lot better, and his problems seemed far away. “But you never finished how you got out here,” he pointed out.

“Oh yes! Sorry. Okay, so my friend ditched me, and nobody else wanted to do anything, so I thought I would walk around for a bit. That’s when I saw you. You were walking outside, and seemed very upset, so I followed you, to see if maybe I could help!” she said brightly.

“It’s really not safe to just follow somebody outside onto the grounds,” Remus said, wondering why he was worrying about this girl’s safety in the first place. “I mean, I could have been coming out here to meet with Voldemort or something.”

“No, I saw your face, and you’re definitely not a Death Eater, you don’t look capable of doing something bad,” she said rather softly.

“But still...you should be careful...” he said, frowning, yet feeling oddly happy. This girl had wanted to see if he was alright? It scared him. He shouldn’t feel happy, it just wasn’t right. He didn’t deserve happiness he was a...

“You’re a Werewolf, aren’t you?” she asked as though asking to borrow a quill or something. Remus stared.

“Wh-what?!” he asked, nervously.

“I asked if you were a Werewolf. You are,” she concluded.

“No...I’m not,” Remus said firmly.

“It’s alright. You don’t have to be ashamed of it. I know loads of Werewolves! My uncle is one,” she said.

“Really?” Remus asked, rather excitedly.

“Yeah, really. And don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody about it if you don’t want. But my uncle doesn’t care. He says that he’s proud of it. He has learned all kinds of self-control that normal humans don’t need to know, and he says that he has this feeling that normal humans don’t get. It’s like...”

“A connection to animals,” Remus finished for her. Then he nearly slapped his forehead, this girl was already weaseling stuff out of him! What was wrong?!

“Exactly!” she said excitedly. “Wow, I’m really glad I met you tonight,” she said, standing up, and before Remus could say anything, she dashed away.

He shook his head, that was the weirdest encounter he had ever had! But all the same, he couldn’t help but mutter, “I’m glad we met too...”

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