His friends were dancing around him and chanting some sort of celebratory song about the start holidays; he winced as he heard Sirius shouting something about “a little Firewhiskey” later on.
Luckily, it wasn’t unusual for Remus not to join in with his mates’ silly behaviour or else someone might have asked him what was wrong. The thing was that Remus wasn’t looking forward to this week as much as everyone else.
They’d only been friends for about a week (and one could only just about justify the use of the term ‘friends’) but Remus liked Adie an awful lot. They had gotten on exceedingly well in the past week. She was a likeable, social and warm girl and Remus couldn’t help but think that Sirius’s hatred of her was completely unjust.
The quiet boy paused for a minute, assessing his feelings. He knew what Sirius would accuse him of and how James would wiggle his eyebrows like a vaudeville villain if either of them heard him say something like that. But Remus didn’t fancy her, Merlin no.
That was the problem with most people – if you’re friends with a member of the opposite gender, then you surely must be secretly in love with one another. On the contrary, Remus had always held something of a special place in his heart for Alice Prewett in the year above but she’d recently started dating Frank Longbottom much to Moony’s chagrin.
Anyway, the thought of the holidays didn’t fill Remus with much joy as the rest of the Marauders as he knew he’d hardly be able to see his new found friend. If only, he thought wistfully, there wasn’t so much irrational prejudice between the Houses.
He looked up as his friends broke off their chant, interrupted by a tapping at the window. An owl was perched on the windowsill, a scroll of parchment by its talons. A Fourth-Year boy let it in where it proceeded to flutter across the room to Moony’s armchair.
He grabbed the note from the owl and the majority of the Common Room resumed their activities. His friends watched him curiously.
It was a note from Adrianna explaining that, as he had expected, she would not be able to make it to the library during the holidays. Well, it was very polite of her to have written, Remus thought. He assumed it was the raising of her strict family - the pure-blood lot always seemed very formal. Sirius being the perpetual exception to that rule, of course.
That’s quite alright – I don’t think I’ll be able to make it either. James is full of pranks for this week… I know, it sounds horribly ominous. Thanks for writing me, see you in a week.
“Hey, hey, who’s the letter from, Moons?”
“Is it a lurve letter?”
“From your secret girlfriend?”
Remus sighed as Adie’s bird flew through the still open window to return his response. He paused, allowing his friends to continue their jibes for a moment whilst he weighed up the pros and cons of telling them the truth about the note. It might be somewhat less scandalous, he thought, to pretend he did have a secret lover…
The Marauder’s settled down somewhat, seating themselves by their wolfy friend, ceasing their teasing and waiting for his to spill. He’d tell them the truth, poor Moony couldn’t lie to save his life.
“No, it is most certainly not from a ‘secret girlfriend’.” Remus spoke the term with some derision.
Peter nodded “Yeah, you still have a thing for Alice right?”
James and Sirius crowed at this, elbowing each other stupidly.
“Huh, well, not much point in that anymore is there?” Moony couldn’t keep a note of slight bitterness out of his voice; Sirius patted him consolingly on the shoulder.
“It’s alright mate, I don’t think you had much of a chance with her anyway.”
James sighed exasperatedly at his best mate’s lack of tact. Remus just rolled his eyes; he didn’t dare make any comment about Sirius’s immaturity when he knew how much his next announcement would anger his friend.
“Nah, it was just a note from Adie to tell me she wouldn’t be studying next week,” he tried to sound as nonchalant as possible as he said this but he mentally kicked himself for referring to her as ‘Adie’. He could already see Sirius clenching his jaw angrily.
James looked round the group warily. “Adie as in Adrianna?” He enquired tentatively.
Remus nodded, maintaining his offhand façade. James and Peter exchanged a glance of something quite akin to terror in anticipation of Sirius’s reaction.
“Oh,” Sirius began in a falsely sweet voice. “You mean, Adie as in Adrianna Greengrass, the poisonous bitch that tried to knock me off my broom?”
Remus huffed indignantly; Sirius was really very unfair to Adie. He voiced this opinion much to the disgust of his friend.
“Sirius, it wasn’t exactly uncalled for – you did smack a Bludger at her back.”
“Are you sticking up for her over me?” Sirius looked genuinely shocked and hurt by this. “Jesus, she must have put a hex on you or something… Or did you finally lose the big V to her? ‘Cause that really doesn’t indebt you to her, Rems.”
Remus slumped in his seat, shaking his head.
“I’m not in some sort of… sexual relationship with her,” he spluttered. “We are friends – no, Sirius, don’t start, okay? She’s a nice girl and your hatred of her is beyond me. It seems irrational and unfair.”
Sirius opened his mouth to shout at his best friend some more, Remus tensed himself for the coming onslaught. However instead of beginning an angry tirade, Sirius sat down on the arm of Remus’s chair and sighed.
“I know you don’t get why I dislike her so much, I know none of you do,” He looked round his group of friends, preparing himself to try and articulate his feelings – something he’d never been terribly good at.
“Adrianna Greengrass is from a pure-blood family; a family who think ‘Magic is Might’ and think they’re better than everyone else. A family like mine.”
Sirius saw Remus about to counter his point, argue with him for the girl but he waved him away. He wanted to say everything he had to say before the fighting began again.
“But Adrianna is not like me. She is a Slytherin. I never mentioned that before, when I was describing those people because I know as well as anyone that your family does not define you.
But that Hat Sorted her in with the rest of them. It saw her and it saw that she was no different from them.”
Sirius paused once more, running his hands through his hair, frustrated.
“She can act all sunny and lovely but deep down she is just one of them and at the end of the day, she’ll be the Narcissa Black to someone as evil as Lucius Malfoy.”
There was a still sort of silence between the four boys. James nodded slowly at his best friend; Peter gazed pensively into the fire.
“I… understand where your views are coming from, Sirius,” Remus spoke the words carefully and diplomatically. “And I may not know her well, but you don’t know her at all. And so I shall take my chances in friendship with her. It’s nothing against you, I promise you Padfoot.”
Sirius nodded at the wolf. “I get it, man. But, you know, I think you’re making a bad decision. When her husband’s in the Prophet for Muggle torture or something, and she’s defending him – it’ll hurt you.”
They all hoped it would never come to that.