Bad Faith Book 1

15. The Real Remus

I woke up rather early the next morning and got dressed in the dark. It seemed to me that I was always tired as of late and I had no real idea why that was. Once I was dressed I pulled my hair into a ponytail and lit a torch so I could write back to Moony.

Dear Moony,

Sorry that this reply took so long, I was exhausted last night. Anyways, I will try to continue to include a drawing with each of my letters, but no promises. As for your mixed feelings, don't feel bad. If I hadn't wanted to get that off my chest, I wouldn't have written it. I would have written about my brother who's amazing or my aunt who buys me muggle things for Christmas just to piss off my dad.

And about your answer, thank you for trusting me with that, though I quite disagree. You had no more control over any of that than I had over my mother's death. Make up your mind, you hypocrite, either we are monsters together or neither of us are. Anyways, you didn't ask me a question, so I'm sending this off.

Have a nice day,

Dez

With that done, I headed up to breakfast and took my seat. Just as I was finishing, Severus came and sat next to me. He gently set his hand on my shoulder for a moment, but he didn't say anything as he served himself breakfast.

"Thank you, Sev, but it's okay to talk to me now. I was just having a rough day yesterday." I smiled and took out my Astronomy homework to finish it up.

"I'm glad you're feeling better. I just…" Sev took a few bites to gather his thoughts. "I want to tell you that I was a jerk, Dez. And that you can be friends with whoever you want, even if that means that you end up in detention every week,"

I chuckled. "Thank you for that. I needed to smile."

Severus stared down at his plate. "I also wanted to say that Remus would be good for you. And before you ask, Lily didn't have to tell me, I actually could tell all by myself. I just asked Lily if I was right."

I sighed. "Yeah. I like him, but it wouldn't end well for either of us, Sev. My father would go ballistic if he found out I fancied a half-blood and it's not like many people like the Malfoys. Just let it go, please?"

Severus chuckled. "You're off the hook with me, but I can't say the same for Lily. She seems to think the two of you are soul mates and she wants you to be together. My guess is that you two are her next project."

I rolled my eyes and hugged my friend before heading off to class. As the week went on, I began to notice Remus Lupin in a whole new light. Lily's words about him kept floating to my mind and I realized that we did indeed have more in common than I had thought. Originally, my interest in him had been curiosity and physical attraction, but now I noticed things about him I hadn't bothered to before. Moony's daily letters were getting less interesting and Remus was becoming much more entertaining than a random note.

He was a rather brilliant lad whose thirst for knowledge reached far beyond the academic need. I saw him reading books of muggle sciences and experimenting with new spells in the library. I saw his compassion for younger students, often rescuing them from bullies, be they Slytherin or not. He was gentle and humble, even when the teachers outright praised him. He would often get embarrassed by it, even. I saw his playful side with the Marauders and his passionate side in DADA. He was methodical and dedicated, especially in the classes he struggled with. He always wore a warm smile, even when he was faced with people like Bella Black and her friends. And he was strong. People weren't always kind to him, but he never lashed out, he simply stood tall and took their cruelties.

I didn't just notice the good things about him though. I saw a familiar sadness in his eyes that I saw in my own whenever I looked in a mirror. I saw his stubborn nature when he was in Care of Magical Creatures class. None of the Creatures seemed to like him, but he would try and try to work with them anyways. He was insecure. Anytime anyone mentioned his scars or his sickly appearance he seemed to withdraw into himself. Sometimes he would get very irritable with his friends, though he was too loyal to admit it, save a clench of his jaw or an exasperated sigh. He was also rather paranoid at times. He hated being touched by anyone but the Marauders and I wondered if that didn't have to do with his scars. Perhaps he had been abused when he was younger as I had.

"You know, Dez, you could make it easier on yourself if you just asked him to a drink at the Three Broomsticks." Severus whispered teasingly.

"Shut up, Sev. We haven't been friends since the beginning of time like you and Lil." I sighed, turning away from Remus Lupin and back to my dinner.

"I know you haven't, Desari, but seeing you moon over him like this is rather painful to watch. You've been spacing out and staring at him for days now. Was I that bad before Lily and I got together?" Severus made a disgusted face.

"No, Severus. You were worse." I smiled.

"He's staring at you now." Severus said with a wicked smile. "Don't look at him. I want to see how long he'll stare if he doesn't know that he's caught."

"That's cruel." I giggled and started eating my dinner.

"You two are pathetic." Lily scolded as she settled into the seat beside me. "You and Remus keep taking turns staring at each other so often it's driving me mad. If you don't be careful, the whole school with find out about your little crush. Why don't you just give in and ask him to lunch at that cute tea place in Hogsmeade. Sev and I will go with and make it a double date."

"This whole wingman thing you're trying to do here won't work unless you dive on the ugly friend grenade, and that would mean taking either Peter or Potter." I said, hoping that she would shut up after that.

"You know, if I was single I might just take Potter out just to get you two to realize how much you like each other." Lily threatened me. "Of course, I'd also use it as a new excuse to say no to him, but mostly to get you and Remus together."

"You're really serious about this, aren't you, Lily?" Severus sighed. "Why's it such a big deal that Remus and Dez go out? If she's not ready for something like that, just let it go."

Lily chewed her lip for a while before speaking again. "Remus is my friend too. He's never had a girlfriend and he keeps turning down all the girls I try to set him up with. I think it's because he's scared to get hurt, and I know Dez would be a good match for him."

"So, you're saying that he doesn't want a girlfriend." I said simply.

"He just doesn't know he does." She argued.

"No. If he wanted a girlfriend, he could get one. He's attractive, intelligent, and a sweetheart. That's the male trifecta, Lily. He could have any girl he wanted, given that James or Sirius hadn't ruined them already." I rolled my eyes. "He's probably hung up on some girl he doesn't think he can have, and it's not me he looks at like that."

"He does though. He's looking at you now." Severus interjected.

"He's probably trying to figure out why Lily's sitting over here. Or he's checking out someone for his friends." I sighed and looked over at Remus again. He didn't blush or look away like someone in love would have. Instead he waved politely and looked back for a moment before turning to talk to James. "He's checking out Lily for James."

"Ew." Lily sighed and stood up. "I guess you could be right. James doesn't know Severus and I are together yet, I don't think. Anyways, I should be off to the library now, where James wouldn't dare enter."

I chuckled and waved her off before standing up myself. "I think I'll go for a walk myself before curfew. Have a nice evening, see you in the common room."

"Now I'm sure that you're sneaking off to meet with Lupin. It's far too cold out to go for a walk." Severus teased and pulled his bag over his shoulder.

"Shut up, Snape. You and Lily won't be turning me into a brunch buddy any time soon." I smiled and headed outside.

I walked around the lake a few times before finally allowing myself to rest on a well-hidden rock and pull out my sketchbook for Muggle Art. I held my pencil in front of me to measure several mountains and trees before I began to draw the sun setting over the forest. By the time I was finished, it was getting dark and my fingers were starting to go numb from the cold. I smiled and headed back to the Slytherin dormitory and my nice, warm bed.


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