Missing/Non-Pensieve Moment from Acceptance: Seventeen-year-old Remus Lupin has the raging hormones of any
other bloke his age, and then some.
It's the 'and then some' that has him worried, but a trip to the
greenhouses helps him see that self-denial can only get you so far in life.
story is based on the stories and characters created by J.K. Rowling and I am
in no monetary way profiting from it.
A blank sheet of
parchment could be a beautiful thing -- rich with the possibilities of topics
to write and ideas to express. Unless,
of course, you had a five-foot Potions essay to write. Then a blank parchment could be the most
daunting thing in the world. At least, that was what Remus thought. He sat in the Marauder's Corner on a rare
sunny Saturday afternoon in September.
The place was near empty as most students were taking advantage of the
weather while it lasted. Remus knew
that this essay had to have priority for him.
He couldn't afford to put things off with the moon waxing toward
full. So now he was looking from his
notes to his textbook to his parchment and drawing a complete blank on where to
usually alone here.” A feminine voice
interrupted his lack of thought.
Remus looked up
into the smiling brown eyes of Beatrice Bennet. He couldn't keep his eyebrows from shooting up in surprise. After making her interest fairly obvious on
the first day of term, Beatrice had retreated to the protection of her
friends. Aside from the occasional
furtive glance down the Gryffindor table at meals and a shy smile or two in the
weekly Prefect's meetings, she had made no further attempt to advance their
relationship. Or rather, advance them
into any sort of relationship at all.
“She's waiting for you to
do something, mate,” Sirius had told
him. “So are you going to or not?”
The truth was, Remus
initially had every intention of doing something. He had noted the undeniable scent of arousal on her when the
train had jostled them together in the Prefect's car on the Hogwarts Express. The look she had given him from beneath her
dark lashes made it clear that it was directed towards him. His reaction had been immediate. His blood had surged, his nerve endings had
tingled and he had suddenly been very glad he had already put his robes
on. It had only been a couple of days
since the full moon, and he had barely been making it through with a Pepper-Up
Potion, or he might have done something ill-advised right then. As it was, he could barely feign interest in
what James and Lily were going on about as Head Boy and Girl. That evening, after the announcement of the
Ghoul’s Ball and Beatrice's initial flirtation, he had been certain that he
would make a move on her once he regained his strength.
As he recovered from the
transformation, the twin voices of reason and caution that ruled his life
sounded louder than ever. If his nose
was any indication, she desired him.
That alone had been a huge turn-on.
Since then, he noticed other things, too. Like how silky her brown hair looked when she tucked it behind
her ear and how nicely curved her calves looked when he caught a glimpse as she
shifted her robes and tucked her legs beneath her to read on the couch in front
of the fire. He didn't know how long he could keep his raging teenage hormones
in check with a willing participant. He
could only imagine what Sirius's response would be to that.
“‘So what's the problem,
mate? Just shag her and be done with it!’”
Sirius sometimes forgot that
the first girl Remus shagged would be the last.
So, instead of voicing his
concerns to his friends, Remus had spouted some nonsense about keeping his
options open. Sirius had congratulated
him for his caddish outlook and Peter had agreed with the approach. James had narrowed his eyes at Remus before
commenting, “That works better if you actually show an interest in the other
True enough. James was too astute for his own good. Except, of course, when it came to
Lily. Remus had thought about actively pursuing
someone else, but in the end he found himself looking back in the Great Hall
and smiling in return at the Prefects' meeting, and doing absolutely nothing
else. He thought if he just didn't talk
to her she would give up and lose interest, though he hoped she wouldn't. Apparently, she hadn't yet.
“So, where are your mates?”
she asked, sitting across from him in the seat Sirius usually occupied.
“James is at Quidditch
practice and Peter's watching,” he answered, looking down at his parchment and
thinking, 'Please go away and stop tempting me.'
“And Sirius?” she pressed,
apparently no Legilimens.
He shrugged noncommittally, keeping his head down.
“Oh, I see.” She sounded amused. “He's out doing something illegal and you
don't want to tell me because I'm a Prefect.”
“I'm a Prefect!” he
protested, finally looking up at her.
She grinned at him. “Of
course you are, but you don't want to rat out your friend.”
He silently agreed. “Would
you?” he asked.
She laughed. “Well, my friends don't exactly pursue the
sort of mischief yours do,” she began thoughtfully, “but I suppose I'd look the
other way as long as they weren't doing anything too dangerous.”
Remus felt a heavy weight in his chest.
“How dangerous is too dangerous?” he asked.
Beatrice's grin faded. “I think this conversation is getting too
dangerous -- but without making you break any confidences, I'd just have to say
Sirius can probably take care of himself.”
Remus let out a half
snort. “That's true enough,” he
agreed. Then he looked down at his
parchment again, wondering if he should say something more or just ignore her
in hopes she would give up.
“So,” she started again,
proving she wasn't the giving up type.
“You're not with Sirius to give yourself plausible deniability to
whatever he's up to in the unlikely event he gets caught. Why not join Peter watching James? Don't you
answered. “But I've got this essay to
do.” He waved his hand over the empty
She leaned over the table and
looked intently at the blank sheet, then she raised her eyes to him, forcing
him to meet her gaze. There was a
teasing glint in the otherwise soft brown depths. “Making much progress?” she asked with mock innocence.
“No, and it's strange,” he
answered honestly, fighting the urge to grin in response to her teasing. It was a short step from harmless teasing to
outright flirtation - and from there, this thing between them could escalate
beyond his control far too quickly.
“How strange?” She pressed him.
“Well, I've got my notes and
done all my research. I thought for once Potions would be a piece of cake --
but I just can't seem to figure out how to start.”
sympathetically. “What's the topic?”
“The properties and usage of
Her head jerked a bit in
surprise. “There are potions that use
He nodded. “A few. You'll learn about them in N.E.W.T.S. They're not often used because lady's veil
is so rare. The HAG doesn't even have
any in the dungeons. That's why the
essay is so critical, we can't observe its practical use.”
'The HAG' was how most
students referred to Professor Hecuba A. Gloveychuck, the Potions mistress.
“But Professor Sprout's
growing some in Greenhouse Three,” Beatrice said.
Remus couldn't contain his
surprise. “Really?” he asked.
She nodded. “She showed it to the fifth years last
week. We talked about its effect on
elves and faeries -- you know, how it makes them drunk? But she never mentioned other potions. Do you suppose she's hiding it from the
Remus considered this
suggestion for a moment. “I guess,” he
responded slowly. “She may be saving it
as a bargaining chip. It could be a get
out of detention free card for a generation of Hufflepuffs.” The more he thought about it, the more it
made sense. Professor Sprout was the
youngest of the heads of house and though it seemed like an un-Hufflepuff thing
to do, he certainly didn't blame her for doing whatever it took to get an edge,
especially over the HAG.
“You should go look at it,”
Beatrice declared rather abruptly, apparently unconcerned with the underhanded
politics he'd just suggested one of the Professors was employing. He wondered if she was thinking, 'Good
for Sprout!' right along with him.
He looked across the table at
her. “You think so?”
“Sure. It could
provide you just the inspiration you need.
Plus, it's the perfect excuse to get out of the castle on such a
glorious day -- especially with a dreary Scottish winter just around the
corner. As a matter of fact,” here she
stood suddenly, “I was on my way down there to do a mandrake transfer for my
O.W.L. Herbology project. Why don't you
join me?” She looked down at him
Remus knew he was gaping at her, and could only hope he didn't
look as stupid doing it as he felt. He
noticed, looking at her fully now, that she was wearing her cloak and had her
Gryffindor scarf draped over her shoulders.
She didn't appear to be lying about being on her way out, and she
couldn't possibly have known he might have a reason to join her. Still, she had just brazenly invited him to
the greenhouses, a known popular spot for snogging. Once he himself had used it with Georgia Antworthy in fifth year,
though that had only been on a dare from Sirius -- one that had proved very
educational. The way his heart was
pounding at the very idea of kissing Beatrice, however, made it clear to him he
absolutely should not be alone with her in the greenhouses.
“Sounds like a good plan,” he
heard himself saying. He rolled up his
parchment and gathered his other things before standing up and offering her his
She reached to take it, and
then hesitated. “Don't you want to get
Getting his cloak would be a
good idea; it would give reason a chance to take control again. He could think of a good excuse not to go,
or, if none came to mind, he could just hide out in the boys' dormitories until
nightfall. How very un-Gryffindor that
would be. Besides, he knew deep down he
didn't want to escape, and he wasn't going to let himself try.
“On a glorious day like
today?” he asked with a smile. “It's
only a short walk outside, and then it will be warm in the greenhouses.”
How warm remained to be seen,
he thought, but judging from the wave of heat that washed over him when she
smiled and took his arm, it would get quite warm indeed.
“You were right about it
being warm in here,” Beatrice said, hanging her cloak and scarf on a hook just
inside Greenhouse Three. “It makes me
feel silly for bringing these.”
“I don't know,” Remus
replied, rubbing his hands together to warm them. “The wind really picked up between the castle and here. It makes me wish I had a pair of gloves at
least.” He reached up to finger one of
his ears, which prickled painfully and he expected was embarrassingly red. “Or maybe a hat.”
“You could always nick a pair of these for the walk back,” she said, rummaging
through a bin of earmuffs and emerging with two fairly decent looking
pair. She walked up to him, offering
him one pair. Her eyes flicked to where
he was still pulling on his cold ear and he dropped his hand
self-consciously. For some reason she
was blushing, though he couldn't figure why.
“Right,” she said, clearing
her throat. “The lady's veil is back
here. I'll show you and then come up
here and transplant my mandrake.”
“You don't need help with that?” he asked.
She shrugged. “Nah, she's little, yet. I'm sure I can
“You have a female mandrake?” he asked surprised. She was already heading towards the other end of the greenhouse
and he hurried to follow. “Is she
fertile?” Fertile female mandrakes were
notoriously difficult to raise in captivity, and often had to be neutered at a
young age in order to raise to maturity and hence usefulness in potions.
“Sure,” she replied over her
shoulder with a shrug. “That's why this
is an O.W.L. year project. If I can get
her mature enough, Professor Sprout can breed her with one of her males and
won't have to order new supplies every few years.”
“So,” Beatrice said, gesturing towards a large flower box at the end of the row
they were walking down, “there it is.”
Remus looked at the flower. It was smaller than he expected, though the
textbook gave average measurements; the pictures always made it look larger
than life. It was a thin, graceful
plant, with stalks of milky green and flowers of pure translucent white. Remus knew from his reading that its name
was derived from the petals, which were long and flowing, like a veil. At the center of each bloom was a cluster of
tiny golden nubs, he reached out a finger to touch one delicately, managing to
get his hand covered in the dark yellow pollen.
“Careful!” Beatrice hissed.
“That's a rare flower, remember?” “It's all right,” he assured. “I've done my reading. They're rare because Muggles eradicated them
during their Spanish inquisition or something.
Thought they were the devil's flower.
Probably some superstitious Muggle saw someone using it in a
potion. It's so small.”
“Small but potently
intoxicating -- at least from a fairy's point of view,” Beatrice
countered. “What kinds of potions need
“Restorative stuff mostly and
some… other things.” Remus caught
himself before mentioning love potions -- best avoid that topic entirely. “It's so rare that a lot of the potions are
She smiled and handed him his
parchment and quill. “It sounds like
you're already inspired. I'll leave you
to it and go to work on my mandrake.
Put your muffs on before I go, so I know it's ok to dig her up.”
He complied and watched her
head back up to the front of the greenhouse.
He tried not to feel disappointed, but failed miserably. Despite her seemingly legitimate reason for being
here, he still had anticipated a little more flirtation if not an outright
attempt at snogging. He did not think
he had misread her so completely.
Perhaps she felt that since she brought them there, it was up to him to
make the next move. He took a step
after her with that in mind before his rational self caught up. Hadn't he been telling himself all week to
avoid this situation? He couldn't
afford to let his instincts take over.
Besides, she was right, he had an idea how to start his essay now that he'd seen the lady's veil, and he didn't
want to waste it. He pulled a large
upside-down pot up to a nearby table, spread out his blank parchment and began
He had barely finished his
introductory paragraph when he sensed a disturbance in the greenhouse. He thought maybe the ground beneath him
reverberated a bit, as if something very large and heavy had been dropped. Trusting his instincts that something was
amiss, he dropped his quill and made his way towards the front of the greenhouse. He found Beatrice on the ground next to a
large overturned pot. Dirt was
everywhere, and little soil
footprints led away into the rows of plants.
“What happened?” he yelled, though he could barely hear
his own voice through the muffs.
She shook her head and
pointed to her own muffs to indicate she didn't hear him at all. She must have surmised his question though, as she answered it by pointing to her arm and
pantomiming a bite before gesturing to the soil footprints. She then stood up and started struggling to
right the pot. Remus hurried forward to
help her and together they stood the pot back up and shoveled most of the soil
back into it. Beatrice brushed her
robes off ineffectively and made to start off in the direction of the
footprints. Remus put a hand on her
shoulder. She turned to look at him
“You get the pot ready,” he
yelled, combining his words with digging actions in the pot. “I'll go get the mandrake.” He thumped his chest like an overblown hero
in a bad play. He knew it was ridiculous
looking, but there was nothing for it until they had the mandrake safely buried
again. She nodded in understanding and
moved back towards the pot while he took off after the dirty footprints.
The trail was easy to follow, and he found the little
mandrake girl crouched between two flowerboxes, staring at him defiantly.
“Come on, little one,” he cooed to it. At least, he hoped
he was cooing. “It's time to put you in a nice new big pot.”
Just as he reached for her,
she darted out of her hiding place. She
almost made it between his legs, but got tangled in his robes and he managed to
snatch her up. He carried the wriggling
creature back to where Beatrice had the pot ready for replanting. He extended his arms to set her in when a
sharp pain on his finger caused him to drop her, luckily directly into the pot.
“Buggering trollop!” he
cried, sticking his finger in his mouth.
He was thankful for the muffs when he realized what he had just said.
Beatrice was hurriedly
shoveling dirt over the mandrake girl's head.
As Remus looked on, baleful and -- dare he think it? -- smug moss-green
eyes looked back at him. The next
second dirt was over her head and Beatrice ripped off her earmuffs as she
patted the dirt down with the back of a gardening shovel.
“I think that was the
mandrake equivalent of the 'terrible twos',” Beatrice commented, turning to Remus and reaching out a
hand. “Bite you too, did she? Let's
have a look.”
Remus gave her his hand,
finger extended, feeling like a child.
He compensated for the feeling by asking after her wound. “What about you? Are you all right?”
“Other than being embarrassed
at being outdone by a plant, I'll live,” she replied, staring intently at his
finger, which was still stinging slightly from the bite.
He tried to think of
something witty to say about the cunning plant life at Hogwarts, but found that
he could neither think nor speak while enjoying the sensation of her thumb
running softly over his sore finger.
“I feel teeth marks, but no
blood,” she murmured, her eyes not leaving his hand. Her tongue darted out to lick her lips thoughtfully and for a
crazy moment he thought she was going to lick his finger. Maybe he just wished it as the thought sent
his heart racing. Instead, she
retracted her tongue, pursed her lips and blew; her breath felt cool against
his throbbing finger. Finally, she
looked up at him.
“I don't think you'll need to
see Madam Pomfrey. As bites go, it's
“I've definitely had worse,”
he agreed, not quite believing he said that.
Her nearness must be making him lose his head.
She did not release his hand and her expression turned
“So, Remus,” she asked, “are
you going to ask me to the Ghoul's Ball, or should I direct my efforts
'Elsewhere?' he thought. Where else would she direct them? What poncy little blighter would dare touch
her? The burst of unfounded jealousy
was a revelation to Remus. He was
already too possessive of her and they had barely flirted. This was getting out of hand.
“I don't think I should,” he
said out loud.
“You're not worried I'll say
He shook his head.
“Then what are you afraid
“This,” he rasped out,
clasping her hands between his. He
pulled her to him more aggressively than necessary since they were already
standing so close, but he wanted to make a point. He bent his head down and kissed her savagely. If his aggressive move took her by surprise,
she didn't show it. Instead, she raised
herself up on tiptoes to improve the angle and returned his kiss with
fervor. This was ten times better than
that slag Georgia Antworthy.
When they broke for air, she
pressed her cheek against his and whispered in his ear, “That doesn't scare
“I know,” he croaked. “That's the most terrifying part.”
She sighed and pulled back,
though not far as he had her hands pressed to his chest. He could feel his heart pounding beneath
their hands, and knew she must feel it too.
She looked at him sadly, her brown eyes almost black -- dark enough that
he could see himself reflected in them.
He didn't look wild and out of control, just normal -- just a normal
randy teenage boy. Would that that was
the case – maybe in this case, it was.
“So, should I try and find
another date?” she asked.
He gripped her hands even
more tightly. He could let her go now,
he knew, and be out of danger. He also
knew that he would be miserable. 'Be
a Gryffindor, why don't you!' insisted a voice in his head that sounded
disturbingly like Padfoot. Oh, how he
wished he could take that advice. 'You
can.' Now the voice seemed more
like Prongs. 'Just trust yourself,
you won't let anything happen.' Of
course he could trust himself. He had
proven to himself in the past six years that outside of one day a month, he was
the picture of self-discipline. Being
with Beatrice may put him to the test, but he was up to the challenge for a bit
“Look, Beatrice, I'm not just
going to ask you to the Ghoul's Ball,” he began deliberately.
Her face fell and she pressed her lips together until her mouth was nothing but
a thin line. She made to pull her hands
out of his but he held firm and hastened forward. “I mean, if we go to the ball together, it won't be because I
just asked you to the ball. It will be
because you're my girl.” He watched her
face soften from hardened disappointment to dazed confusion. “So, will you be my girl, Beatrice?”
The confusion faded and a
smile brightened her face. “Yes, Remus,
I will be… I am your girl.”
He released her hands to wrap
his arms about her waist and draw her close.
She put her hands on his shoulders and yielded to his embrace, tilting
her head in anticipation. He held back
for one last time and raised his eyebrows at her.
“So who is this other bloke you
were planning on asking?” he growled teasingly, though he felt a trace of real
Her cheeks turned a dusky
rose and she closed her eyes tightly.
“Oh, that. That was a bluff. I
expect if you hadn't come around I would have spent the evening in the dorms or
gone stag and cried into my pumpkin juice while you danced away with …”
Remus didn't give her a
chance to speculate on who his erstwhile date might have been. Instead, he kissed her, with a little less
ferocity than their first kiss. This
time he was gentle and savoring. Seeing
as he caught her in mid-sentence, her mouth was already open and it was not
difficult to get a real taste of her.
Maybe it was the fact that they were covered in soil, but he felt that
she had a distinctly earthy flavour.
Not like dirt, exactly, more like water fresh from the stream:
pure and natural, but also with a trace of wildness that went with being
free. It was delicious. Her eyes flickered shut and she moaned into
his mouth. There was nothing for him to
do but close his own eyes and deepen the kiss.
Through the roaring of his own blood in his ears, he thought he heard a
rustling of leaves, but shrugged it off as one of the many strange exotic
plants in the greenhouse and lost himself in the wild freedom of kissing his
That evening, Remus was back
at the Marauder's corner working on his essay and waiting for his mates to turn
up. Beatrice was revising in the
library with some of her classmates, having sportingly agreed to let him tell
his friends on his own. He smiled,
thinking of how she had looked when they parted -- all rosy cheeked and
breathless, with her lips swollen from all the excellent snogging. His quill froze and he lost focus on his
parchment as his mind's eye returned him to Greenhouse Three.
He was startled from his
reverie when a box of sugar quills landed in his lap. Looking up, he saw Padfoot grinning down at him, flanked by
Prongs and Wormtail. He had the distinct
feeling of being ambushed, and decided to approach the situation cautiously,
saying as little as possible until he knew what they were about. He raised his eyebrows questioningly.
“They're a souvenir from
today's adventure,” Sirius answered the unspoken question. “It was a piece of cake, by the way -- not
even a close call to speak of. Almost
not worth going, so little thrill to it.”
“I'm not exactly sure why you
did go,” Remus commented, setting the box of sugar quills aside as
Sirius and the others flopped into their usual chairs. “A legitimate Hogsmeade weekend is just
around the corner.”
“Keeping close track of that,
The arch in Padfoot's voice
made Remus eye him sharply. “What do
you mean?” he asked.
“Nothing.” Sirius's offhand tone belied an ulterior
motive, Remus knew him well enough to see that. “Anyway,” Sirius continued, “since it wasn't much of an adventure
and you all missed out on it anyway, we were just talking about taking a little
after hours prowl? What do you say?”
Remus shifted uncomfortably.
“If you're worried about
getting caught,” James offered, "I'll be there too. As Head Boy, I'll either get in loads more
trouble than you as a Prefect -- or I'll be able to deflect the whole thing…”
“We're not going to get
caught!” Sirius sounded disgusted at the
“It's not that anyway,” Remus
hedged. “I just have the Potions essay
incredulity was comically exaggerated.
“Isn't that what you've been working on all day? What's the hold up?”
Remus knew that the time had come
to tell them about Beatrice. He cleared
his throat nervously. “The truth is, I
was having some trouble with the thing.
I, erm… I found out that Professor Sprout was growing some and went down
to the greenhouses for a little inspiration…”
“'Inspiration', is that what
they're calling it these days?” Sirius asked.
Remus, who had been avoiding
eye contact in order to get through his explanation, looked up sharply. He finally really looked at all his
friends. Peter was beside him, shaking
with mirth. Across from him, James and
Sirius both, ironically, had wolfish grins on their faces.
“What?” Remus asked
“Because I've always called
it snogging a girl senseless,” Sirius concluded matter-of-factly.
“Wha… you saw?” It was less of a question than a horrified
Sirius turned to James,
grabbing his hand and pressing it to his chest. “Beatrice,” he intoned in an unnaturally deep voice, “will you be
James batted his eyes and
replied in a ridiculous falsetto, “Oh, Remus, I am your girl.”
Peter was cackling out loud
by this time.
“You heard?” Remus groaned.
“It was like a bad melodrama,
mate -- what were you thinking?” Sirius confirmed his worst fears.
“I was thinking I was alone
with the girl. What were you doing
there anyway? Didn't you see the sign
-- what if the mandrake had been out?”
“We saw you take the muffs
off,” James assured.
“It was too good to resist,”
“And how long am I going to
have to endure this?” Remus asked.
“Oh, a good long time, I
imagine,” Sirius responded casually.
“After all, you're the first Marauder to fall.”
“In the war on love,
mate. You're our first casualty.”
“I'm not,” Remus protested,
James's grin disappeared
faster than an escaped Snitch.
“I don't think it counts if
the girl doesn't speak to you,” he muttered glumly.
Sirius considered James,
rubbing his chin thoughtfully. “Good
point, Moony. Prongs is definitely a
fallen warrior.” He grinned over at
Peter. “It looks like it's up to you
and me, Wormtail, to defend single blokes everywhere. You up to the challenge?”
“You know it!” Peter agreed enthusiastically.
Remus patted James's knee
sympathetically. “Don't fret too much,
James. She's agreed to go to the ball with you, right? That's something.”
James was only partially
“Oi! Listen to you, Moony,”
Sirius laughed. “You haven't even had a
girlfriend for a day and already you're giving advice to the lovelorn?”
“That's right, Padfoot,”
Remus retorted. “Have you got a date
yet? I'd be happy to give you a few
Sirius mouthed wordlessly at
him. Remus just raised his eyebrows
with smug amusement. He didn't often
take the mickey from his friends, but he was feeling especially buoyant this
evening. Ribbing Sirius had the added
benefit of cheering James, who was grinning at Sirius. Peter was laughing loudly, causing Sirius to
turn on him with a scowl.
“Shut it, Wormtail, you'll be
lucky to get a date.”
Peter's laughter cut short and James's grin dropped. “Here now, no need to be that way, just
because Moony took the mickey. We take
what we give, right?”
Sirius rolled his eyes before
conceding sullenly, “Right, Prongs.
“'Sall right, Padfoot,” Peter
“As for you,” Sirius turned
on Remus. “Don't think your little
ploy's worked, Loverboy. I'm just
inches away from deciding on the lucky girl who's going to the ball with me, and
when I do, we'll see who's going to be giving whom tips!”
Remus was saved from
retorting by a commotion at the portrait hole.
A group of fifth years entered, including Beatrice. She was pointing at a classmate's open
textbook and then gesturing out one of the windows.
As the classmate started to respond, she nodded absently
and turned towards the Marauders’ corner.
Remus smiled when their eyes met and she beamed back.
“Y'know, Moony, that girl's
not half-bad at that,” Sirius noted.
“High praise indeed,” Remus
“No, I mean it,” Sirius
protested. “When she smiles at you like
that -- you can get past the mouse-brown hair and the average height and the ok
figure -- you see it adds up to quite a nice package.”
“You really know how to give
a compliment, Padfoot,” Remus grumbled, moving to stand.
James put a hand on his
shoulder. “Hang on, there, Remus. He's just spinning you up. We all think Beatrice is lovely -- so call
“Call her… really?” Remus looked around at them. Since they had established it in third year,
the Marauders’ corner and been no- witches territory -- at least when all four
of them were there together. The grins
his friends gave him were more encouraging than teasing.
“Is she your girl, or isn't
she?” Sirius asked.
Remus smiled back at them and
turned back to Beatrice, beckoning her over.
She looked around the room awkwardly and turned back to him, raising her
eyebrows questioningly. He nodded and
beckoned again, this time his three friends joined him. Looking around again, she made her way over
cautiously, like a rabbit emerging from its warren, expecting a predator at any
moment. He couldn't say he blamed
her. When she finally arrived, she lit
herself timidly on the arm of his chair.
“Hi,” she said, almost shyly.
“Hi,” he answered, smiling at
her in a way he hoped was encouraging.
“You know everyone?”
“Everyone, you all know
Beatrice, right?” He looked at his
“Of course. Hi, Beatrice,” James responded first.
“Hi, Bea,” Peter added quietly.
“Hey, Bennet,” Sirius
concluded the greetings.
“Hi,” Beatrice repeated,
still somewhat hesitant.
They all looked around in
uncomfortable silence for a moment before somebody cleared his throat -- James,
probably. Remus had been watching
Beatrice's cheeks turn pink and the noise snapped him out of it enough to
realize how awkward she was feeling.
“So, how'd revisions go?” he
Her manner suddenly changed,
as if she forgot about the other Marauders' presence. “Oh, fine. But
that Joan, she doesn't know Venus from the North Star. You'd think she never looked at the night
“Careful there, Bennet,”
Sirius admonished her. “You don't want
to come off like you know too much about the night sky. Then you'll never convince Moony here to go
up to the Astronomy tower and tutor you.”
The color drained out of
Beatrice's face and she turned to gape at Sirius, managing only a strangled
noise in the back of her throat as protest.
Sirius was grinning cheekily at her, but Remus noticed intensity in his
gray eyes. The others were watching the
exchange with similar looks, like they were assessing the situation. 'They're testing her,' he
realized. His hand shot out to take
“Don't listen to him,” he
said reassuringly. She turned back to
him, still looking pale and wide eyed.
He tugged at her hand, succeeding in pulling her off her precarious
perch and into his lap. “I'll tutor you
any place you like.”
The color returned to her
face with a vengeance and deepened to red. “Remus!” she half-whined,
half-hissed. He could tell from the
smile in her eyes that the entire blush was not due to embarrassment. Encouraged, he tugged at her again, bringing
her body closer to his. She sighed in
capitulation, putting her free hand on his shoulder and leaning against him.
“So, Beatrice, is there any
topic giving you trouble where Remus can be of particular assistance?” James
Beatrice turned to the group
and Remus felt her stiffen on his lap as she realized she was being put to the
test. Still, she squared her shoulders
and cleared her throat. “Well, um… as a
matter of fact I'm having a bit of trouble with um… Care of Magical Creatures…
erm… Grindylows!” She smiled
triumphantly. “Of course, I'm having
trouble understanding Grindylows! I think
a discussion over a walk around the lake tomorrow afternoon would be quite
helpful.” She turned on Remus with
bright eyes. “What do you think?”
Before Remus could respond,
Sirius cracked, “If you think you'll be too busy with your Potions essay, Moony,
I'd be glad to show Bennet here how to handle a Grindylow.”
Beatrice's eyes, still
looking at Remus, went wide and he saw a deep flush begin at her neck. He gripped her hand, telling himself it was
to soothe her, but knowing it was a bit possessive -- there wasn't a girl at
Hogwarts whose head Sirius couldn't turn.
She gripped back and tightened her grip on his shoulder as well. He watched in fascination as the blush receded,
and then looked at her eyes. She smiled
at him and shook her head nearly imperceptibly. He smiled back, and then leaned around her to look a Sirius.
“No, Padfoot,” he replied in
as casual tones as he could manage, “I'm sure I'll be finished by then.” He looked at Beatrice directly. “A walk around the lake sounds like just the
“Right,” she said, with a
breathless sigh. Then she seemed to
gather herself. “Well, if you blokes
would excuse me, I need to get my books back to my rooms and turn in. It's been a long day and I'm right
knackered.” She made as if to stand,
but Remus kept hold of her hand and snaked his other arm around her waist to
keep her firmly in place.
“Remus, what…? Oh.” Her protest broke off when Remus looked at
her pointedly, his gaze drift from her eyes to her mouth and back. “Right then….” She leaned forward and
pressed her mouth to his. It was a
light delicate kiss, though her lips did part slightly and her tongue danced
out just briefly to brush against him before she pulled away, pink cheeked and
breathless. This time when she moved to
stand, he released her, wondering how such a little kiss had left him so weak
when the much more intense kisses earlier in the day had so energized him. “I'll see you tomorrow,” she whispered. All he could do was nod and watch her sweep
“I think she's nice,” Peter
“She can certainly think on
her feet,” James added with a note of approval.
Remus turned back to them and
smiled, still thinking of bright brown eyes and wondering how what he expected
to be a miserable day spent inside writing a Potions essay had turned into the
most wonderful day of his life.
“And don't worry about the
other thing, that will all work itself out in time,” James said seriously.
“What do you mean?” Sirius
asked. “He's got a terrific girl who
wants to snog him all over the place.
What should he worry about?”
James gave him a very pointed
“Oh, that!” he
scoffed. “Don't worry about that,
“She doesn't seem the type who
would care,” added Peter thoughtfully.
“Of course she wouldn't
care. There's nothing to care
about. You've got nothing to worry
about, Moony,” Sirius stated matter-of-factly.
“I know -- I'm not.”
Remus found, as his gaze drifted in to where Beatrice had disappeared up
the dormitory stairs, that he actually meant it. He was actually happy, and for once, he wasn't going to worry.
(A/N As always, thank you
to my beta Elanor Gamgee – you make me constantly better. A couple of LOLs and a smiley face from you
can put me on cloud nine for a week.
Lady's veil was invented by Christine Morgan for her
Gargoyle's fanfic series and introduced in the story, “Mother's Day”. Special thanks to her for allowing me to use
it here. If you like Gargoyles and haven't
read Christine's work it can be found here: http://www.eskimo.com/~vecna/garg_fan_fiction.html
-- She also has some Harry Potter fanfic listed on her Website here: http://www.eskimo.com/~vecna/other_fan_fiction.html
and, if you like the fantasy genre, she is also a published author. Check out her Magelore series (Buy it on
Amazon via the Sugar Quill link, of course.)
Thanks also to L.A. Davi,
my pre-beta, who is a young grammar goddess if ever I met one.
To all the reviewers of Acceptance
who want the story of how James told Lily he was an Animagus – Sorry, it’s just
not coming to me).