The Sugar Quill
Author: Karina (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Rita's Crush  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Remus Lupin sat at one of the sunnier tables outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley, circling answers to questions from a magazine quiz entitled “Divining Your Style” and placidly licking his kiwi-coconut ice cream cone. He tapped his quill against his forehead: Which did he prefer—swishy black cloaks or Robin-Hood style tunics? It was a tough decision, but it did pass the time. He was waiting for someone. More specifically, he was waiting for someone from The Daily Prophet to meet him for an interview for a feature story called “The Animal Inside: Life as a Werewolf.” The war against Voldemort was over, and Remus had received the Order of Merlin for risking his life and saving Harry Potter and his friends, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Ginny Weasley, and Neville Longbottom, as well as Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black. As a result, the attitude towards werewolves in magical society had done an about-face, and Remus now frequently graced the cover of suc h magazines as Witch Weekly and WQ. Truth be told, all the media attention was quite exhausting, and Remus occasionally longed for the days of ostracism and banishment from polite society. But not being one to dwell on the trials of life, he submitted to the public interest with a verve that would have aroused the envy of Gilderoy Lockhart (if only Lockhart could remember how dashing and debonair he was meant to be). Okay, okay…not really, but it was an interesting thought, all the same. Remus was humble and shy as he ever was.

He still had not decided between the cloaks or the tunics when he heard a voice from close by. “Remus Lupin, I presume? Of course, I would have recognized that stunningly handsome face anywhere.”

He closed the magazine and looked up at the source of the voice, who was now pulling up a chair at his table. It was a woman—with immaculately coiffed hair, manicured magenta fingernails, lurid purple lipstick, and very, very form-fitting electric blue robes. I thought I liked blue, Remus thought, but he wasn’t certain about that particular shade—it was rather blinding. He dragged his eyes from her robes to her face, blinked, and groaned inwardly. Rita Skeeter. Of all the atrocious reporters The Daily Prophet employed, Rita Skeeter was without a doubt the most horrific. Though her body is rather, er, no, it doesn’t do to think of that, Remus thought. He shook himself and stretched out his hand to shake hers. “Yes, I am him… I mean, he. And you are Rita Skeeter. I’ve, er, read many of your stories.” And thought them all complete and utter rubbish… well, anyway. He shook himself again.

She sat down across from him and pulled out a roll of parchment and the ever-present Quick-Quotes-Quill. “So,” she said, bestowing upon him what was intended to be a winning smile. “So. Tell me all about the famous rescue. I’m dying to hear it straight from…the werewolf’s mouth, as it were.” She held the quill to her mouth and sucked in a great breath of air.

“I thought you were going to write about my everyday life and whatnot,” Remus replied, frowning.

“Oh, right. Yes, well then. Tell me,” she leered at him. “What does a werewolf eat for breakfast?” She looked a bit like she wanted to have him for breakfast.

“Porridge, most days—though occasionally I’ll have toast, poached eggs, tomatoes….” Remus nervously drummed his fingers on the table and leaned over to get a glimpse of what the quill was writing.

“No greasy slabs of bacon or legs of lamb to feed that ferocious appetite of yours?”

“Er, no. I’m a vegetarian, actually.”

“Really?” She looked slightly disappointed, but the quill seemed to know just how to handle the dilemma: …vegetarian. After the monthly day of bloodlust and gore, the seemingly quiet and suave Remus Lupin finds the smell and taste, and even the sight, of animal flesh revolting….

“That’s exaggerating a bit, isn’t it?”

Rita swiftly covered the roll of parchment with her hand. “No, no…just making it more descriptive—more evocative, you know?”

“Whatever you say…” He could only begin to imagine what the quill made of that. Perhaps something like: A facade of docility and meekness masks his feral nature. “Won’t you be having any ice cream, Ms. Skeeter?” He had just finished his ice cream cone, and was hankering for another—perhaps chocolate-banana this time.

“You can call me Rita. And, no—I have to be careful of my figure, darling.” She propped her elbows on the table, rested her chin on her hands leaving the parchment uncovered again, and asked in a whisper meant to encourage the sharing of confidences, “Do you have a girlfriend, Remus?”

“Er, no.”

“Perhaps you have several then…?” Remus could see the quill scribbling feverishly…is the man adored by women everywhere, and yet he has no one to whom he will give his heart. It is an immense struggle—balancing the man and the beast, and he selflessly maintains his lonely circumstances to prevent the suffering that might be inflicted on any object of his affection.

“What does that mean, exactly?” He asked, waving his hand over the roll of parchment.

Ignoring his question, she slipped the parchment into her lap. “Perhaps you are looking for a girlfriend?” Her hand snaked across the table, and she ran a fingernail softly over his wrist. He snatched his hand from the table, and shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

“It, er, well…not particularly.”

“But why ever not? A fetching chap like yourself could certainly have his pick! I know several women who would jump at the chance to…” Remus felt something rubbing against his ankle. “A chance to spend some time with you. As a matter of fact….” She leaned across the table towards him. Remus began to back away, but she kept getting closer and closer and, “You have some ice cream on your chin.”

“Oh.” He wiped his chin hastily. “Speaking of ice cream, I need another ice cream cone. I’ll be right back.” He stopped just inside to recollect himself. It wasn’t like him to lose his head like that. After a moment, he went back out, chocolate-banana ice cream cone in hand.

“You’re back. I was afraid you might have run away,” Rita said demurely.

“Oh, no. No, I wouldn’t have done…”

“Shall we continue then?”

“What?”

“The interview. Shall we continue?”

“Er, yes. Yes.” The ice cream cone was dripping down his hand, but he didn’t seem to notice.

“How are you at flying a broomstick?”

“What? I mean… well, fairly good, though not quite as good as Sirius, I don’t think.”

“What model of broomstick do you possess?”

“Er—a Firebolt.”

“I’ve heard that werewolves are remarkably powerful….”

“Er.”

“I’d wager you’re really strong and muscular.” One of her hands was sliding across the table again.

“No…no, I’m not all that muscular, actually. What are you doing?”

“Your ice cream’s dripping all over the place, dear. Aren’t you going to eat it? Here.” She handed him a tissue. “You know, a friend told me that werewolves are exceptionally good kissers. She dated one for a while, and she said he was an absolute ani—“

“Maybe it was just him, he—whatever. I mean, er, I don’t know if that’s really an actually fact or anything, that, er, werewolves kiss better. I don’t think there’s actually any empirical evidence for—”

His words were cut off by her lips pressed against his.

~~~~~~~~~

“NO! No! Don’t touch me!” Remus sat up in bed, eyes flashing wildly.

“Remus?” Sirius poked his head in the door. “What are you on about?”

Remus sighed with relief. “It was a dream. A very, very bad dream.” An image of words on a page, faint green writing on a sheet of parchment—vile, despicable, uncouth, subhuman…. flitted through his mind, and he rubbed his head wearily, lay back down, thinking vaguely that perhaps he preferred swishy black cloaks.


Disclaimer: It’s JK Rowling’s—all of it. None of it’s mine. Although I seriously doubt she would inflict such torture on poor Remus.
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