A/N: Thanks for your reviews and follows and favourites! Sorry this took longer than usual, it's an important set-up chapter. Hope you enjoy! :)
Chapter Four: It is not a good idea
I spent most of Sunday doing dull, boring, painful homework with Lily and Dorcas in the Library and by the time Lunch was over, I was starting to go insane.
"Maybe she's never gone this long without a snog," Lily suggested as the three of us settled down in the Common Room at the tables opposite the boys' staircase. I kept my eyes on the corner that the Sixth Years usually walked around before coming downstairs, and clicked my tongue. Were Lad's nights supposed to stretch all the way to the next afternoon?
"I don't care about snogging!" I said, huffing. "I want to hear what Remus thought about our idea."
"Your idea," Lily corrected. "I refuse to be involved until I know he's on board."
"Same," Dorcas said as she looked over her Transfiguration homework. We'd done it ages ago and it was actually quite easy – multiple-choice took the entire headache out of it – thank Merlin.
"What did you get for question six?"
"C! When in doubt, pick C!" I groaned as Lily looked over her own answer.
"Well it might be – but it also could be B…I wasn't sure," Lily said. "We'll ask Black or Potter whenever they come down. They're good at Transfiguration."
"What do you suppose they do during their Lad's nights?" Dorcas asked as I finally looked away from the stairs to reluctantly begin work on my Care of Magical Creatures diagram.
"Do you want the inappropriate but likely answer, or the decent and unlikely answer?" I asked as I began to copy the drawing of the Augurey from the book.
"They probably practice snogging while Sirius gives them tips on how to comb their hair."
"That was the decent answer?"
"Looks like Potter still needs lessons," Lily giggled, looking past me at the Portrait Hole. I whirled around and saw all four boys emerging from the corridor looking tired but rather pleased with themselves. Remus brought up the rear, and only he looked exhausted and a bit irritated.
"Where have you been? I've been staring at this staircase for hours and hours!" I demanded when they approached.
"She's lying," Peter shrugged. "I saw them walking up here when I was going to the loo."
Remus chuckled. "Hospital Wing – I got worse yesterday."
"During Lad's night?" I exclaimed, standing and peering at his face. He did look a bit awful – almost translucent with how pale he was.
"Never got 'round to Lad's night," Sirius yawned, heading over to the sofa by the fire and kicking his legs up. Peter moved over to join him and James clapped a hand on Remus' back.
"By the way – the plan is a no go, Kate. He almost bit our heads off," he grinned at Remus who bit back a smile of his own before putting on his sternest expression.
"I can't believe you thought I would do that," he sighed.
"Hey James?" Dorcas asked, still staring at her parchment. "Have you done the Transfiguration homework?"
"Oh yeah, this morning," James said through a yawn. He ruffled Remus hair. "Watching this one sleep isn't particularly interesting."
"Are you okay?" I asked, subtly moving my hand to Remus' wrist to check his pulse. He laughed and pulled it away from me.
"Fine. Just tired."
"Good – then why wouldn't you agree to my ground-breaking plan?" I said, smacking his shoulder.
"What did you put for question six?" Dorcas asked, reading out the multiple-choice answers.
Oh good Godric. Just go with bloody C, Dorcas.
"Ah, that one's C," James said as he looked over her shoulder.
"I told you!" I said snapping my head around, momentarily distracted from reprimanding Remus.
Lily rolled her eyes. "We thought it might be B, and we didn't want to listen to her because she put C down for every answer she didn't know."
"Where do you come up with this stuff, Kate?" James laughed and Lily and Dorcas joined in. Ugh smug ponce – he was only agreeing with Lily because he fancied her. I'd seen him fill in the multiple-choice portion of the History of Magic exam last year and he'd just made a smiley face.
"Never mind that now! James – I thought we were in this together, how could you let him beat you down?" I asked, cocking my head at Remus. He was now massaging his temple, so I lowered my voice just a smidge.
Poncey Potter just shrugged and headed over to the sofas. He took the armchair opposite Peter and propped his legs up on the table. Seeing his blatant indifference to my dilemma, I harrumphed and grabbed Remus' arm following James. I allowed Remus to sit on the small square of sofa that Sirius wasn't sprawled across, before I sat unceremoniously on my boyfriend's stomach.
"Aargh, get off Kate!" Sirius complained, his eyes flying open as he attempted to push me off of him.
"Am I that heavy?" I asked in a very even voice as I peered down at him dangerously. His eyes widened and his mouth twitched into a guilty smile.
I turned back to James who was still staring back at Lily as she did her usual cat stretch. He was mesmerized, his eyes looking out of focus behind his glasses and a stupid little smile was plastered on his face.
He sighed finally tearing his eyes from my friend. "Kate, I came up with the plan – it's not my fault he didn't go for it."
"You owed me!"
"And I spent all of Hogsmeade discussing it with you. And got some quality time with Lily out of it," he said lowering his voice. "I consider it a success, myself."
I glared at him, ignoring Remus' chuckles and Sirius' squirming underneath me.
"Go away Kate," he said, yawning and leaning back in his armchair looking ready for a nap.
"You are all bloody old men! You were up around Remus' sickbed all night and you couldn't put the tiniest bit of effort in to convincing him this was a good idea?"
"It is not a good idea," Remus said.
"You are useless. The lot of you!" I snapped, pushing down extra hard on Sirius before I got up. He groaned and shoved me lightly as I stood and I stumbled a little before storming back to my friends. The idiot boys were too tired to open their eyes, but obviously not tired enough to laugh like a pack of mental hyenas.
A few hours later, I sighed down at the chart I had started making the night before. It was shockingly neat and organized – just the way Remus would have loved it. There was a colour-coded column for each of our friends – spaces for the girl they would have chosen, sections for date ideas and rows for a score out of ten. What a waste.
"Put that away Kate and come do this Witch Weekly quiz," Dorcas said after I'd refused to move.
"I don't care about Witch Weekly," I said glumly.
"It's a quiz about what your perfect man should be like though," Lily said. "Don't you want to know if you and Sirius are meant to be?"
I laughed at that but then shook my head somberly. I was never doing anything again. I might not even do my Ghoul t-shirt ideas now.
But imagine a shirt that had 'I won't feel pain until I see the flash of green' in the middle of a shiny green lightning bolt. Genius.
"Stop moping – it's Remus who's losing out. I had a perfect pick for him," Dorcas said as she read the magazine over Lily's shoulder.
"You did?" I asked, looking up in interest. I hadn't even thought of a potential girl for Remus yet.
"Yeah. You know Gemma Blotworthy in Hufflepuff?"
I made a face. "Blot-whothy?"
"Her dad's a Muggle author. She's very pretty and really nice – mellow like Remus. I think they would have gotten along quite well," Dorcas said.
"What year is she?"
Dorcas made a face. "Ours."
Hmm. Same age. Quiet – liked books. Not bad, Dorcas. Not bad.
Trying to be subtle, I discreetly wrote 'Gemma Blotworthy' in the column under my friend's name. Blotworthy? Blotworty? Blutworthie?
"What about you, Lily? Did you have any ideas?" I asked, twirling my quill.
"Well…there's the Seventh Year Prefect – Marlene McKinnon," Lily said, tapping her bottom lip. "I think she plays the guitar…and Remus likes music, doesn't he?"
"Is she the one with the dark hair?" I asked as I scrawled her name down on my chart.
"Yeah but I think she's a blonde naturally."
Blonde. Hmm…maybe not perfect for Remus – but apparently she dyed it and the music thing was a big plus.
"What about you? I bet you had a million ideas," Dorcas said, pointing at something in the magazine and making Lily laugh.
"Oh yeah," I said, searching my head for names. "Emmeline Vance."
My friends looked surprised. "Didn't she go out with Sirius before you did?"
I shrugged. "Yeah but they broke up. Maybe Remus would be better for her."
I didn't tell them that James had said she was off limits for his ridiculous Quidditch vendetta, and I wrote her name down even though I didn't actually think Emmeline was right for Remus. I had no other ideas and at least she was nice. And Remus had almost asked her to Hogsmeade before.
"Katie, is that you?"
I looked up; feeling startled from my thoughts and saw my two friends looking at me suspiciously. A slight smile was playing at the corner of Dorcas' mouth.
"Don't call me Katie," I sighed.
"What are you planning now?" Lily called as I stuck my tongue out at them, shoved my chart in to my bag and hurried off in search of the boys. Remus had already gone upstairs to nap, so I just needed to find them before dinner when he was going to be around again.
I found them outside, even though it was bloody freezing and the grass was still damp from the thunderstorm the day before. Sirius was leaning against the big beech tree with his eyes closed and James and Peter were lying beside him on their backs, head-to-head, playing some bizarre game where they tossed parchment to each other. How boys amused themselves – I could write a best selling comedy about it.
"Hey!" I said, surprising James and Peter when I sat right beside their touching heads. They both yelped but Sirius barely stirred, I just heard him sigh heavily. Maybe he was dreaming.
"What do you want Kate? I'm not talking to Remus about it again," James sighed, sitting up and ruffling his hair before he pulled Peter up too. They resumed their parchment tossing game once more and I tried not to die with boredom.
"I know you're not. I was just wondering if you'd given any thought to who you would've suggested for him," I said, leaning back against the tree beside Sirius and pulling out my chart. He sighed again and snaked his arm around my waist hugging me to his side.
"Jenny has a friend called Sarah – she has a bit of a dark side – she likes danger and that sort of thing. Thought it might be interesting for her to get to know Remus," Peter shrugged. He missed the ball of parchment James threw his way and it hit him right in the face.
A girl with a dark side who liked danger? And Remus? That sounded like a mismatch, but I supposed it was a start. She could be the first date and there would still be five perfectly good options waiting if she turned out to be a weirdo.
Sarah Hobbs, the girl with a dark side. Ridiculous.
"Well," he said thoughtfully. "Honestly, I kind of thought of Dorcas."
He laughed. "Yeah I figured that wouldn't sit well with you. Okay, how about Mary then?"
"Good luck explaining to Lily that it didn't work out with her so you're pawning her off on Remus," I said as I wrote down Mary's name. Mary was actually probably the best one of the list – she was quiet but sarcastic and Mulciber had bullied her pretty bad last year, so Remus would balance her out quite nicely with his well adjusted and sweet demeanor.
"What about you, sleepyhead?" I asked, patting Sirius' cheek. He was resting his chin on my shoulder now, looking down at my chart.
"Nah, I want no part in this."
"You prick! Everyone else is!"
"What? I thought this was hypothetical!" Peter said as he and James moved over to look at my chart. James burst in to laughter.
"Wow – that is ridiculously organized. Forget the girls – Remus is going to fall in love with that chart."
"I spent extra effort getting all the lines neat and stuff. I thought it suited him," I said, feeling pleased. I knew Remus would like it.
James looked at me a little funnily. "This actually means something to you, doesn't it? I mean it's not just for a laugh, is it?"
"No! I want Remus to be happy. Now that you've got a lover," I nodded to Peter, "And you and Lily aren't at each other's throats anymore – he might get lonely."
"Aw," Peter said, beaming at me and I blushed a little.
Sirius nudged my neck with his chin and he was smiling when I turned to look at him.
"I'm still not suggesting a girl – but I'll talk to him again. Since you went to all this trouble," he said.
I shrugged. "It's just a chart."
The three boys laughed.
"You used a ruler, Kate – that's very serious business," Sirius chuckled.
I knew it hadn't gone well the moment the Marauders entered the Great Hall for breakfast the next day. Remus was storming away from Sirius, who had his hands in his pockets as he looked sheepishly at Peter and James. I tried to hide behind the juice pitcher but my head was too big.
"You!" Remus said to me as the boys sat down. "Enough of this rubbish! I am not going to let you lot force me in to scaring a bunch of unassuming girls."
"You're not really scary, mate," Sirius said helping himself to bacon and falling silent at Remus' death glare.
"Stop telling my mates to coax me in to it. None of them are subtle and this is the most ridiculous idea you've ever had!" Remus said angrily, buttering his toast and accidentally spreading it all over his wrist in the process.
"Oh Katie, what did you do…" Lily said, shaking her head.
"It is not a ridiculous idea!" I complained. "If you'd just give it a chance, Remus…"
"Stop! I've had it. Just leave me alone. I like being alone!" he huffed.
"No one likes being alone!" I protested and gritted my teeth at his second death stare of the day. He was being so difficult for no reason! Why couldn't he just give me an inch? "You might like some of them!" I continued, stabbing at my eggs.
"Who says they'd like me?" he snapped. "Honestly, have you just sat and thought about it for a minute? They hardly know me, it makes no sense."
"Of course they'd like you!" I replied. "They just haven't had a chance to get to know you because you're so shy."
I felt Sirius nudge my leg under the table warningly but I ignored it. I wasn't quitting until Remus admitted he was being stubborn.
"Merlin! You are driving me insane," Remus muttered.
"Look, I'll prove it!" I said, staring down the table.
"Hey! You!" I said, pointing at a Third Year girl who was staring at us. "You'd go out with Remus Lupin, right?"
I heard Sirius and James mutter something to each other and Dorcas sigh, but I ignored them, still staring at the little Third Year.
She was blushing furiously and her eyes were darting between a mortified Remus, her friends, and me. Finally she bit her lip and nodded, staring at him with wide eyes.
"There!" I said, turning away from the kid and gesturing wildly in her direction. "Easy as cake."
"I am going to kill you," Remus said, taking a giant bite of his toast and getting up from the table and storming off.
"Well, you've won him over now," James said lightly.
Remus had thankfully cooled down a little by our afternoon Herbology lesson with the Hufflepuffs. Dorcas had pointed out Gemma Blotworthy (worthie?) and I saw that she was very pretty, with nice straight teeth and stylish black-rimmed glasses. She also had her nose buried in a book, so it was fairly easy to scrutinize her without her noticing. Towards the middle of the lesson, I went over to Remus' workstation under the pretense of borrowing his clipping shears. Peter gave me a look, but I ignored him.
"Can I borrow those please?" I said to Remus brightly.
He sighed and handed them over, barely looking away from the plant he was working on. He and Peter were holding back the leaves while James and Sirius struggled to pull the pods from between the moving vines.
"Do you see that girl over there?"
He glanced up and looked at where I was pointing and nodded as he pushed my hand down and returned to staring at the plant.
"Do you think she's pretty?"
He raised an eyebrow at me and sighed heavily before he looked back at her.
"Yeah, she's pretty."
"You know – that was Dorcas' suggestion for you," I said lightly.
"What?" He groaned, snatching his shears back from me. "Go away, Kate."
"I'm just showing you what you're missing."
Sirius laughed from under the leaves and James said, "You've got to give her points for persistence, mate."
"Kate, I know you think you're doing a nice thing. But please," Remus begged. "You're embarrassing me."
"I'm not trying to!" I replied, taking back the shears. "I just want you to give it a chance."
"Why?" he said dully as James and Sirius finally produced four pods - one for each of them. Lily, Dorcas and I had got ours in five minutes – the boys were useless at Herbology.
"Come on, you'll never understand the meaning of The Ghouls' best lyrics if you don't fall in love at least once!" I said, playing to my strengths.
He laughed and rolled his eyes at his friends. "I think I'll survive."
"Come on – the pain and the heartbreak and the joy and the rush of it all – don't you want to understand why he's asking someone to avada his heart?" I insisted.
Sirius, James and Peter burst in to laughter at this and Remus' mouth twitched.
"Trust me, Kate. I can understand pain well enough."
"KATE! Your pod is making a really odd noise!" Lily whispered harshly from our plant a few workstations away.
"You know you're supposed to pierce them within five minutes or they explode, right?" Remus said, mouth still twitching.
"You know that you're insufferable, right?" I moaned as I hurried back to my friends. Sadly not soon enough – Lily and Dorcas did not look friendly when they were covered in green pus.
By the end of the day, I was very nearly ready to give up. I only had one trick left up my sleeve – I hadn't wanted to use it because it was my most manipulative one, but it was also my best chance. Refusing Lily and Dorcas when they asked me to go to the Library, I sat in the corner of the Common Room alone, looking very sorry for myself. I purposefully didn't look at the Marauders, even when Sirius had waved at me when I walked in. He'd understand – he'd probably even make Remus come and talk to me because of it. I was sure that none of them could handle my look of devastation – sad girls on the verge of tears (even if they were pretend tears) were their weakness. I sighed extra loudly as I made a show of pulling my beautifully constructed chart out of my bag and placing it on the table. With a quill in my hand, I stared down at the page poised to cross off the names. I had to wait a minute or two longer than what would have seemed normal, but soon Remus had pulled up a chair sighing at me. He moved the chart to face him and read over it.
"You made this for me?"
I nodded and shrugged. "I know you like things to be organized."
He shook his head, still staring at it. "It's the best laid out timetable I have ever seen you make. Actually – the only timetable I've seen you make, unless you count the three word list you made for OWLs last year."
"Don't worry – I'm just about to cross the names out," I sighed again. "And then I'm going to rip it up."
He chuckled and I bit back a smile as I added, "And then I'll burn the pieces."
"You are infuriating," he said, kicking my leg under the table. We sat in silence for a few moments before he spoke again. I waited patiently – occasionally I could be patient – especially when I was waiting for something I wanted bad enough.
"Why do you care so much about this, anyway?"
He wasn't looking at me, just down at the table and I sighed.
"I just want to see someone who deserves happiness actually be happy."
He squinted at me out of the corner of his eye. "You really think these girls would go out with me?"
"Of course I do! You are brilliant and smart and good-looking and funny, if not, a little too sarcastic. Any of them would be lucky to go out with you," I said earnestly. Even though I knew I was persuading him with my sad face, I still meant every word. There were few better boys than Remus.
He scoffed and exhaled. "And this really means a lot to you?"
"It's so pathetic though," he groaned, leaning back in his chair and rubbing his face.
"Oh Remus, it's not as if I've signed you up for a dating service – it's just your friends, who care, choosing girls who they think would be a good match for you."
He sighed with his face still covered and after a few heavy moments, he mumbled something.
"What was that?"
He uncovered his face and sighed at me. "I said; I'm going to regret this."
YES. Success! I felt a tiny bit bad for the fake sad face, but still – he would thank me for it later.
"You won't. I promise you, it will be great!" I said, throwing my arms around him and hugging him tightly. His hand pressed to my back for a second before he pulled away and made a face.
"You are so annoying. You think I didn't see right through those melodramatic sighs?"
I grinned and he chuckled again, running a hand through his light brown hair. He had a couple of greys all in a bunch by his ear. Remus: handsome and distinguished – I'd have to keep that in mind in case this plan didn't work and I had to put a personal advert in Witch Weekly for him.
"Wow mate – I thought you had more fight than that!"
I looked up to see Sirius laughing and shaking his head. Remus joined in tiredly, but shrugged.
"She's very convincing. You know that – once she decides something, there's no way to say no."
Sirius nodded. "Yeah, I know."
"You make me sound very evil," I said, carefully putting my beautiful chart back in to my bag and sniffing.
"Oh shush Katie." Remus shook his head.
AGH I hated that this alter ego nickname had stuck.
"So, Kate. Remember when you said that you wanted to lie in my bed and be quiet for a few hours?" Sirius said, raising an eyebrow.
We both laughed at Remus' red face and groan as I took Sirius' hand and followed him up to the dormitory.
A/N: Oh Remus, you just can't say no can you? You polite, adorable, werewolf you! Thanks for reading everyone! I would love to hear what you think!