Disclaimer: I own the narrator, but nothing
I am an observer. And Iím content with that. I
donít see the need to charge rashly into things, like the Gryffindors. I donít
spend hours pondering the mysteries of the universe, like the Ravenclaws. Iím
not particularly concerned with getting ahead in the world, like the
Slytherins. What I do is keep my head down, do my work, and watch everyone
else. You can learn some fascinating things that way, you know.
Some things you learn by watching and then doing
yourself. I can watch Severus Snape make his potion, try to emulate him, and
have it turn out all right. I can see Lily Evans perform a charm, accenting the
right syllables and making the correct wand motions, and I can do it myself.
Some things you can only learn by doing. The
first time I kicked off on a broom and soared through the air, watching someone
else wasnít going to help me. You canít get a proper feel for playing Quidditch
purely by watching Quidditch. Sometimes you just have to go out there and
plunge into the thick of things, all hands-on experience, and thatís the
way you learn.
But most of the time, simple observation is all
you need. Chance things, like seeing Lily Evansís hand brush James Potterís,
and you know that she doesnít hate him anymore. Seeing Professor McGonagall dab
her eyes with a handkerchief during breakfast, and you know that one of her
Gryffindors is going to be receiving the black owl soon. The Ministry sends
their regrets, but your familyÖor mum, or dad, brother or sisterÖI got one
of those a year ago. Professor Sprout had been practically sobbing.
Sometimes what youíre observing is so subtle
that youíre not sure itís there in the first place. But Iíve trained myself to
observe people, and I know I catch subtle nuances better than most others.
Sometimes I see things about them that they donít even see themselves yet. I
donít know if Sirius Black and Remus Lupin know that theyíre in love with each
other yet, but I know. I can see.
Everyone knows them. James Potter, Sirius Black,
Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. Gryffindorís Golden Boys, getting their
spells right in half the time it takes the rest of us. Black and Potter two of
the best Chasers Gryffindor has had in years. Itís always a challenge to try
and get the Quaffle from one of them. There are some things that the whole
school knows about them. James Potter has been in love with Lily Evans for the
past two years, at least. Sirius Blackís Dark Arts family disowned him and now
heís living with Potter. Remus Lupin disappears once a month, ostensibly to
visit ill relatives. Peter Pettigrew couldnít curse his way out of a wet paper
bag. But these are only the things you see on the surface. It takes something
else to look deeper.
Every time Lily Evans brushed James Potter off,
everyone else saw him laugh it off and return to his arrogance, but I saw
determination and pain in his eyes. Heíd keep trying, because it hurt him for
her to hate him. Sirius Black makes a big show of hating the Slytherins,
including his brother, but when Regulus passes him in the halls, a sneer on his
face and his nose upturned, Black would almost reach out, before remembering
himself and going back to laughing with his friends. But I saw that even though
he hates his family, he loves them and wants to be accepted by them. Remus
Lupin disappears once a month and comes back looking sicker than his relatives.
I havenít quite figured out what it is he really does, though I know he has the
sanction of the school, or else the professors would make a fuss. But I still
have to wonder why he comes back pale and with new bruises and scratches. I
told my suspicions to his Head of House, Professor McGonagall, but she just
said sheíd look into it, and told me to get back to class. I worry about him.
Peter Pettigrew, on the outside, seems to be the perfect bully-bait. Always
tagging along after the others, itís always seemed a wonder that the other
three would permit this one into their charmed circle of friends. But I saw
Avery and his bullying friends gang up on Pettigrew, who was alone, one time. I
saw Pettigrew hex half of them, even with his wand hand shaking, before Avery
disarmed him. And I saw the way his friends came running once they found him,
and hexed the remaining bullies until they had to go to the hospital wing.
And thereíve always been rumors about the four
of themómostly started by the Slytherins who hate them. But ever time the
whispering has started up about what unnaturally close friends they are,
theyíve always smiled and laughed and changed nothing about their behavior.
Soon it became ridiculous to think that any of them are sleeping with each
But now Iím starting to wonder if itís really
that ridiculous. I walk near them in the halls, from Herbology to
Transfiguration, and from Arithmancy to Charms. They hardly ever notice me
watchingómost people donít, but these four are unusually dense, always wrapped
up in talking to each other. They walk down the halls, Black on Lupinís left,
Potter on his right, and Pettigrew slightly behind him, sort of enclosing Lupin
in a kind of triangle. Almost as if theyíre protecting him. Iím not sure what
theyíre protecting him from; theyíve surely noticed the paleness and bruises
and scratches just as I have, but Iím not sure if they can protect him from
whatever makes him so pale and gave him those bruises and scratches. I donít
know if Lupin knows that theyíre trying to protect him; he just smiles and
laughs as always.
But Black always seems to be keener on
protecting him than Pettigrew or Potter. Whenever a bunch of Slytherins passes
them in the halls, Black shifts just slightly closer and in front of him,
almost guarding him from Slytherin eyes. I know Lupin sees thatóevery
time it happens, he touches Blackís shoulder and murmurs something in his ear.
But then he turns back to Potter or Pettigrew, and doesnít see Black shiver and
absently touch the spot Lupinís hand had rested on.
In class, Lupin and Black sit together. Itís a
change, from our first several years here at Hogwarts, where it would always be
Black and Potter, then Lupin and Pettigrew. Itís only been recently that Black
started setting his things down in Pettigrewís normal spot. I remember the
first time he did it, Lupin looked up, startled, and then he smiled. And Black
continued to sit with him for the rest of the year.
But not all of this is one-sided, mind you.
Lupinís always touching Blackóinnocent places, certainly, like on the arm, or
the shoulder. Thereís really nothing in those touches to betray any possible
feelings. Except the fact that he doesnít touch Potter or Pettigrew half so
much. Only Black. He calls Potter and Pettigrewís names to get their attention.
He touches Black to get his.
Lupin always seems to smile more when Black is
around. Oh, he loves Potter and Pettigrew. Theyíre like brothers to him; I can
see it by how he looks at them and how he talks to them. I have brothers
myself, and thatís the way they look and talk to teach other. Black is
different. Lupin acts differently around Black. Like he knows that theyíre not
brothers, but is trying to act like they are for everyone elseís sake. But he
laughs more at Blackís jokes than at Potterís, smiles more at Blackís antics
than at Potterís, cuts him more slack and lets him copy more notes than he does
Potter, or even Pettigrew, who certainly needs it more than either Black or
Sometimes Iím mistaken in my observations.
Sometimes, the people I think fancy each other turn out to be simply good
friends. But I know Iím not mistaken with this. Iíve seen the way they look at
each other, and it lights up the room. Itís the way Potter and Evans look at
each other, and the way Iíve seen my parents look at each other. But no smile
is more brilliant than Blackís for Lupin, and no touch more eager than Lupinís
Like I said, I donít know if they even realize
yet what they mean to each other. But I know itís there, because I see it. So
until the day they open their eyes and discover what Iíve known for ages, Iíll
do what I do bestówait and observe.