The Grass Is Always Greener

Chapter 5

Adie decided that it would probably be best to carry on as before, avoiding any conflict with Sirius Black. Their last fight hadn’t ended up with any new patients for Madam Pomfrey but next time, she thought ominously, they might not be so lucky.

Fortunately, this was not hard for Adie to do. Although the Marauders were in almost all of her classes, none of her close friends interacted with them much. Lily despised James and Emmeline did speak to Remus on occasion although that was only in order to revise.

Adrianna was friends with most of the Fifth Year Gryffindor girls and although they insisted it was fine for her to come to their Common Room (and Emmeline and others often did), Adie refused. Just like the dining arrangements, that would be a step too far.

I’d probably be throttled in my sleep if Lucius found out I’d stepped foot in the Lions’ Den, Adie thought.

And so Adie devoted her time instead to her studies; she was one of the brightest girls in the year, thanks to the sheer amount of work she did. Even Lily complained about Adrianna’s self-inflicted workload.

The thing was that, for Adie, a career might be her one chance for escape. Maybe, just maybe she thought, if I get a wonderful Ministry job then I won’t be forced to marry. Or at the very least perhaps my allotted husband will let me keep a job. It was a very, very slim possibility but an idea that Adrianna clutched at anyway.

After the stress of her run-in with Sirius (and the awful praise she’d received for it from her fellow Slytherins), Adie had begun to study obsessively. Eventually Lily and Emmeline, as loyal and patient friends as they were, started getting somewhat restless.

“Guys, just go outside, I know you want to. I really don’t mind. It’s probably easier for me to study alone, anyway.” Adie smiled at the pair who shifted guiltily.

“No, we can stay if you want.”

“I mean, it is a beautiful day… But we don’t mind being here, honest Adie.”

The Slytherin just raised one eyebrow in disbelief. “Scram, guys.”

Her best friends smiled at her gratefully before rushing out of the gloomy Library and out into the sun flooded grounds leaving Adie alone with her Potions books.

Well, almost alone.

The study habits of one person alone matched those of Adrianna Greengrass. Remus Lupin.

He, like Adie, spent almost all of his time in the Library (although she noted that his friends didn’t even try to pretend that they wanted to keep him company). He always made sure to sit a respectful few tables away no matter how busy or empty the room was.

At first it wasn’t too awkward, Adie thought, they never interacted naturally so if either had attempted to start a conversation it probably would have seemed forced and stilted. However as the days turned into weeks, Adrianna began to feel uncomfortable.

With anyone else, she would have initiated some sort of interaction by now; it was just the way she was. But she couldn’t talk to Remus. He was friends with Black. For one thing, because of the aforementioned friendship, Remus probably hated her and for another, Black would flip if he found out. And Adie was most studiously avoiding that happening.

And so the tense silence wore on, both parties studying quietly and flicking wary glances when the other wasn’t looking.

It had been almost a month since Adrianna and Sirius’s fight and the Hogwarts’s gossip mill had found new topics to debate.

It was February now and, as ever, McGonagall was piling on the pressure before the students had the chance to slack over the half-term holiday they took in a weeks’ time.

This essay is an absolute killer, Adie thought to herself. Usually she had no problem with Transfiguration - it was Herbology that she really struggled with. However, this particular task from Minevra was making Adrianna positively long be doing a diagram of a Mandrake. Anything but this torture, Adie groaned mentally as she slumped across the desk.

Her gesture of woe and agony accidentally upended her textbooks, scattering them across the library floor. Remus’s head shot up at the sudden noise.

“My God, you scared me Adrianna.” He murmured, grinning at his shock.

Adie turned her head slowly, still spread across her parchment in despair. Had he just initiated the contact? She sent one of her thousand-watt beams in his direction, so thankful that the awkward silence had been broken.

“Ah, sorry, Remus… It’s just this essay.” The girl gestured angrily at the papers on her desk, sitting up. The Gryffindor chuckled ruefully.

“Yup, it’s got me too; trust McGonagall to set something like this a week before the holidays.”

“Yeah, bloody slave driver. But I so want to get all my work done before Christmas…”

Remus laughed again, a more confident sound this time. “I would point out how similar we are in our work habits but I suppose that’s kind of obvious!”

Adrianna smiled happily again. She’d known Remus was nice, it was just the pull of that bastard Black keeping poor Rems from befriending her. Yes, she’d already nicknamed him – there was no turning back for him now…

“Hey, Remus, why don’t we work on it together? Two heads being better than one, and all,” Adie suggested. “And we are, like, top of the class – together we can beat this thing!” She ended her offer mock-melodramatically, complete with a fist slam on the table for emphasis.

Remus Lupin thought for a moment. Sirius would go mental if he saw his best mate studying with Adrianna and Sirius did have quite the fearsome temper. But, she seemed so nice; Remus reflected, looking at her placid smile and freckles.

None of the Marauders really understood the deep dislike between Greengrass and Black. They thought they should surely be natural allies. But perhaps it was the way that Adie seemed to have the ability to hover fairly comfortably between the two warring houses that infuriated Sirius, who had had to make a choice.

Remus noted that he’d just mentally referred to her as Adie; only her Gryff friends called her that… No going back now, Remus, he thought to himself.

“That sounds like a great idea.”

They finished the essay together and as they left, they arranged to meet tomorrow. Remus would help Adie with her Herbology if she explained the charm they’d covered in Flitwick’s last class. He’d been ill and none of his mates could provide any decent notes…

When the week’s break began (students did not return home for the shorter breaks), Lily and Emmeline managed to persuade Adie to take a break also from her studies.

In truth, she didn’t actually have any work to do but she knew that it would be very difficult to meet Remus away from the library.

Adrianna had grown, even just in the short space of time that she’d really know him, to immensely enjoy the company of Remus Lupin. He was an easy guy to like; intelligent and witty, funny and kind. He and Adie got on very well with their shared love of all things slightly geeky.

She decided it was common manners to inform him that she wouldn’t be at their study sessions next week; they’d become so regular that it would be quite rude not to turn up.

Rems,

Sorry, I won’t be in the library during the next week. Lils and Em have positively forced me to take a break from studying (read: do their essays for them)! See you in a week’s time for class/studying.

Adie x

She sent the note up in the Owlery, watching her tawny owl swoop round the castle towards the Gryffindor tower.

She really was so glad they were friends but maybe it was that she prized her time with Remus so much because she knew it was limited. Adie couldn’t imagine him standing up to his friend, not for the sake of such a short ‘thing’ (Adie wasn’t sure if her and Remus counted as’ friends’ just yet).

Because Adie knew that once Black found out, there’d be Hell to pay.


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