Disclaimer: As usual, all characters,
locations and ideas are property of J.K. Rowling. I just like playing around
Author’s Notes: This scene was
inspired by a section in Chapter 21: The Eye of the Snake (Pg. 404-407, UK
hardback). There is a point at the end of the “Cho-kissing-Harry” discussion
where Harry gazes into the fire and wishes Sirius would appear and give him
advice on girls. I’d like to think that this conversation between his godfather
and Remus took place more or less in parallel.
And last but
not least, many thanks to Moey for beta-reading.
Girls, Girls, Girls: What to say when your godson asks
Lupin looked round the dark, dreary living room. It
still had a damp, musty tinge to it, but at least it was habitable now. After
all the hard work Molly and the kids put in cleaning it up, it was comfortable
almost. Comparatively speaking.
Remus drew up
a sagging armchair closer to the fire, and eased himself into it after making
sure Sirius hadn’t left another bag of Buckbeak’s dead rats on it again.
Pulling out his wand, he Steamed his soaking robes dry. He’d just come back
from a mission in Germany and would be staying the night at 12 Grimmauld Place
before Apparating to Waterford for an appointment the following morning. Remus
hoped it would only be a brief stay there, as he’d like Sirius to have some
company, other than Kreacher, over the Christmas holidays. His friend was
showing signs of cracking up, what with the frustration of feeling useless, the
lack of human contact and the restlessness that came with being cooped up in a
house which only served to remind him of a past he wished to forget.
Thump. Thump. Thump. It sounded as
if Sirius was running down from the third floor two steps at a time. The living
room door flung open and Sirius, with a playful grin spread widely across his
face, marched up to Remus and started shaking his hand vigorously, knocking the
steaming wand out of Lupin’s grip in the process.
absolutely corking to see you! How was
Germany? Wie geht es Ihnen?”
his friend, eyebrows raised. “I am fine, thank you,” he replied, concealing his
amusement. “How’s Buckbeak?”
Sirius, pulling up another armchair to join him,
straightened up and put his arms on his waist. He tossed a glance out the
window and said, pointedly, “He needs a good flight. Which of course,” he added
hastily, off Lupin’s look, “he isn’t going to get.” Dejected, he plopped
himself down on the chair.
Hippogriffs aren’t really made for flying over Piccadilly Circus,” agreed Lupin
solemnly. He bent down to pick up his wand to finish drying his robes. When his
robes were dry, he reached over to a small table where he’d left a book he’d
brought with him.
“The Ministry of Magic: A History?”
questioned Sirius as he read the title out loud. “What? Is this a sequel to Hogwarts: A History?”
the books to his marked page “The
Establishment of the Wizengamot” and started reading, turning a deaf
ear to Padfoot’s remark. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sirius stare into
the fire. A few minutes passed before he casually commented, “Sickle for your
thinking,” sighed Sirius. “About Harry.”
“I am sure
he’s fine,” replied Remus comfortingly as he turned a page. “He’s safe at
all this mind-sharing Legilimency business between him and Voldemort?”
Remus put down
his book for a moment to look Sirius in the eye. “We haven’t heard anything
that suggests Harry has been used yet. Besides,” he added brusquely,
“Dumbledore did suggest Occlumency lessons should the need arise.” With that,
he turned his attention to the first gathering of the Wizengamot.
“What now?” he
asked, ten minutes later, seeing Sirius still staring into the flames.
much,” came a quiet reply. “Except when we were fifteen Moony, we only worried
about the O.W.L.S..”
Remus gave a
disbelieving snort as Sirius corrected himself. “Okay, you and Peter then.
James and I worried about the Quidditch Cup. Planning the monthly escapade
without being caught.” Remus looked up with interest. “And of course,” added
Sirius slyly, “Prongs had Lily to think about.”
as he immersed himself in the book again. Sirius continued on, seemingly fully
aware Moony was keeping his ear open for him.
“Do you think
Harry has a girlfriend?”
“Why don’t you
ask him?” suggested Remus absently.
“Do you really
think he’d tell me?” scoffed Sirius. “Do you?” he asked more tentatively a few
moments later, frowning.
up mildly and shrugged. Sirius ran his fingers through his hair and then
clasped both hands together and started wringing them.
“Help me out
here Moony. I am trying to be a parent. A good one.”
“It’s not easy
deciding what to ask or know and what not to, and not seem overly nosy and
protective, or too lenient and not caring at the same time!”
“It’s not like
there is an O.W.L. or a N.E.W.T. for this.”
enjoying this, aren’t you?” cried Sirius exasperatedly, studying Remus, whose
eyes hadn’t left the page.
replied Remus pleasantly as he turned another page. But Sirius caught a flicker
of glee in his eyes.
himself out of the chair and paced up and down in front of the fire. “Maybe
he’s still too interested in Quidditch,” he said lamely.
him that lifetime ban,” reminded Lupin, casting his eyes over the committee
members of the Wizengamot for the past few centuries. “Besides,” he added,
looking up at Sirius, “James scheduled both Quidditch and a Lily crush in just
fine at fifteen.”
him though,” recalled Sirius, “because he was…”
conceited prat who hexed anyone along the corridor just because he could,”
finished Remus. “Yes, I know. But Harry’s not like that. My point was simply to
remind you that several thoughts can occupy a person’s mind at the one time.”
Hermione,” suggested Sirius hopefully. “Harry knows her, and she doesn’t think
he’s a git.”
him chin thoughtfully. “I somehow get the impression that Harry, and Ron,” he
added, “see Hermione as a best friend who happens to have longer hair and
sleeps in a different dormitory. I don’t think they realise she may actually be an object of affection for them.” He
paused, deep in thought, “At least most of the time anyway,” he finished.
at him enquiringly. “Oh, nothing,” Lupin replied hurriedly. Just Ron… he thought to himself.
pondered for a few seconds over what Remus said before moving on. “Ginny then?”
in Harry’s point of view, she is still the ten year-old girl who was left
behind at King’s Cross station the first year he and Ron went off to Hogwarts.
Who, later on got possessed by Riddle who nearly killed her. Who, was then
rescued by Harry, with whom she had a crush on. Which,” Lupin pressed on in a louder voice, as Sirius looked
triumphant, “was never returned.”
open-mouthed at Remus. “How do
you know all of this?”
“She tells you all this?” asked Sirius
“Of course not,”
answered Remus gruffly. “One picks up on things.”
Sirius let the
news sink in, then relaxed. “Well, I have some time then. You know, before I
either approach this subject with Harry, or he starts it off. I want to be a
godfather to Harry, a good one. In areas outside of the capacity of ‘Please be
careful. Voldemort’s after you.’ I don’t want Molly to, you know, jump in again
and say I am too reckless,” he said, determinedly.
Remus stole a
look at Padfoot. But as he didn’t know what to say in response to that, he kept
silent. Moony understood very well how Molly’s comments at times had really
upset Sirius. He was sure it was not deliberate. The stress of the Order, the
secrecy surrounding it and the possibility of being killed was so great it made
tempers short and it brought out the worst in everyone. He tried to steer the conversation back to
more peaceful waters.
“There are other girls aside from Hermione and
Ginny,” he commented lightly, surreptitiously peeking over the rim of his book
to gauge Sirius’ reaction.
“Who?” asked Sirius very sharply.
casually. “I don’t know. There are many girls at the school, you know.”
impatiently. “Yes, but try. Hard.”
for a moment, thinking back a couple of years. “Maybe that Ravenclaw girl,” he
said slowly. “Cho, I think her name is.”
“I gather so.”
“So you think
she’s noticed Harry?”
replied Remus hiding a smile. “I am quite sure she has.”
Sirius excitedly, sitting back in the chair, giving off an air of someone
wanting juicy gossip, “what kind of girl is she? Is she into sport? Maybe Harry
can show off his flying abilities.”
show off, Sirius,” reprimanded Remus. “Besides,” he added with a twinkle of the
eye, “I am quite sure Cho is familiar with Harry’s Quidditch talents.”
the Triwizard Tournament? How he got through all those tasks and won?”
“I am sure Cho
knows all about that as well,” answered Remus calmly.
maybe she needs woo-ing. Like gentlemen manners. Carrying her books. Buying her
butterbeer and sugar quills at Hogsmeade. Or,” Sirius continued with a glint in
his eye, leaping up from his chair yet again. “Sweeping bows!” He swooped down
as he demonstrated an aristocratic ballroom bow right there in the living room.
his eyebrows. “I highly doubt if fifteen year-olds know those debonair moves. Harry’d
be the laughing stock of the school if he did that.”
“I don’t think
she’d be won over by a regurgitation of the Goblin Rebellions.”
you’ve had all night. That and taking her out for butterbeers and sugar quills.
For which he pays.”
kissing?” demanded Sirius after a few seconds’ silence.
it?” asked Remus vaguely, as he waded through a page of treaty dates.
he’s kissed before?”
Ask him,” suggested Remus trying to get his head round some of the treaties
“Do you think
he knows how? To kiss, I mean.”
exclaimed Remus, finally putting down his book. “You and I both know very well
you can’t teach someone how to kiss. You just…” he paused, searching for the
right words, “… have to go with the flow,” he finished.
“And I am
supposed to tell Harry that?!”
“If he asks,
yeah. You might be lucky and get away with it. Hermione might be the one to
teach him all this.”
The flames crackled loudly in the fireplace. Sirius
had this ardent urge to pop his head over to the Gryffindor common room to
check in on Harry, but restrained himself.
“So,” started Sirius again a while later, his mind
evidently still on Harry, “you think he’d cope?”
girls? Yeah, he’ll live.” Remus winked.
“How can you be so level-headed and calm
about this? It’s not like a clean-cut thing ‘You have to work hard for your
O.W.L.S.’ or ‘You have to be careful of Umbridge and the Ministry’ or ‘Send Snape
my greasiest regards’. It’s complicated and unpredictable.”
said emphatically. “So there is no point
worrying about it!”
grunted, still apparently unsatisfied.
over at him and said in a softer, more understanding tone, “I can see where you
are coming from. I’d say if situations were different and I was the godfather,
this conversation would be reversed.”
chuckled. “I guess I really am thinking too much.”
what to say, or at least you’ll be able to think fast on your feet come the
time,” reassured Lupin.
“After all, narrowly escaping Voldemort four times, what’s a girl and a kiss, er?”
Piece of cake. Walk in the park.”
right,” said Sirius, pointing his wand at the carpet to clean up some specks of
ashes which had fallen onto it. “What’s there to worry about?”
Apparently a wet kiss from a human hosepipe under a Nargle-infested