Bad Faith Book 1

25. His condition

The next morning was long and filled with mindless chatter. James was sure that he was and elk or a stag, and Peter thought he might be something small like a mouse or a ferret. He was rather disappointed by that. Sirius and I kept a close eye on them as they waited out their fevers, but they didn't have any major symptoms of withdrawal either, unless eating half the table at dinner was a sign of withdrawal, and I was fairly certain it wasn't.

We spent the evening lounging in the RoR, discussing pranks we'd thought up at one point or another. I showed them my portraits of them and laughed off their compliments. We also thought up nicknames for each other. James would henceforth be called Prongs, because that's the one thing he was sure about his animagus form. Sirius would be called Padfoot, because we couldn't think of a nickname to go with the howl he remembered so well. Peter, to his dismay, got nicknamed Wormtail. I however was rather proud of my name. They called me Ghost, since all I could remember was snow and a large white paw. They all agreed with my original nickname for Remus, before I knew it was him. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs were the original Marauders, so their names were put onto the map and somehow I convinced them that mine wasn't necessary.

When we finally headed our separate ways, we had agreed to tell Remus/Moony of the new nicknames, but to tell him that everyone else's had come to us in a dream so he wouldn't worry. I thought we should tell him the truth, but the boys seemed to think he would come down on us like a mother hen if we did. I chuckled at their sentiments, but reluctantly agreed that we should probably wait to tell him what we were doing. He tended to worry about his lycanthropy enough without having something else to blame himself for.

I wondered lightly if his lycanthropy had been the reason that he, as Moony, had turned me down when I'd asked him out or if he had just been trying to keep up the charade. I played with my ring and stared out the window into the dark green lake, wondering where he was right now. Eventually I fell asleep in the chair by my window and slept until morning.

I jumped awake like lightning had hit me when Severus knocked lightly on my door. I was there opening the door before he'd even lowered his hand. "Yeah, Sev?"

"Good morning, Dez." Severus sighed. "I figured I'd come make sure you were up. I didn't see you come in last night and you've been gone all weekend. I... figured that you had been with the... Gryffindor boys and had come back late."

"Uh, yeah. We spent all weekend in Hogsmeade, just don't tell anyone. We could get in big trouble since it wasn't a Hogsmeade weekend and all." I smirked. "It's still pretty early for breakfast, you want to come in and sit down?"

Severus shrugged but came in when I held the door open for him. "There's candy in the bowl by the dresser if you want some."

"So, what were you doing in Hogsmeade all weekend?" Sev smiled lightly, carefully picking out a couple jelly beans. One of them was pepper flavored, but I didn't say anything.

"Mostly window shopping and just getting off the grounds for a minute. There's a waterfall that's rather beautiful on that side of the lake." I shrugged and reached into the candy bowl taking out the last piece of chocolate that Jenna had left for me. "Remus and I had a picnic while the others played in the water."

"You make that sound like it's different from any other day." Sev rolled his eyes. "You and Remus sitting on a blanket feeding each other and chatting like children, while the buffoons zoom around on brooms or play in the lake."

"True. It was different though. This time it wasn't on the grounds. Most days we're still at school, even if we are messing around. Now we can say we're more than just schoolmates." I smirked.

"Hey, we're more than schoolmates and we only hang out on the grounds." Sev said, sticking his tongue out at me.

"Sev, we barely hang out as it is. Yiou spend most of your time with Lily, and I spend mine with Remus." I giggled. "And the other boys of course. I mean Sirius is my fiance after all."

Sev rolled his eyes and popped the pepper jelly bean in his mouth. I stayed silent as I waited for him to start coughing, but he didn't. He just chuckled at my disappointment. "Don't play that game with me, Desari. Lily and Potter will end up together before you and Black do."

I laughed. "Perhaps you're right. I'm doomed to fall for the ones I can't have and Sirius is the one that anyone could have... for a minute or two." I smiled and laid out on my bed, stretching out the cramps from sleeping in the chair.

"Don't give me that 'one you can't have' bullshit, Dez. You haven't even tried." Sev playfully punched my arm. "Ask him out. It's obvious he likes you."

I rolled my eyes and got up to get dressed. "I'll be back in a few. Make yourself at home, eat all the pepper flavored Bertie Botts while you're at it."

After a quick shower, dressing, and brushing I was back in my room. Severus had his face hidden behind my drawing book and I nearly screamed in horror. Showing my art to the boys was completely different than sharing with Severus. I nervously played with my ring as I plopped down on the bed and waited for the verdict.

"You're an amazing artist, Dez..." Severus whispered. "Why'd you chose the muggle style?"

"I'm not very good at making them move they way I think they should, so it's better that they just don't move." I shrugged, moving to sit on the arm of his chair. He was gently caressing the edge of the portrait of him and Lily that I'd drawn awhile back. At some point I'd colored it in with muggle gel pens and it looked really nice, as well as a bit silly. "Do you want to take it and give it to her? You two have been pretty distant lately and I'm worried..."

"You'd really let me take it?" Sev asked looking up at me.

"Of course. I drew it for you guys. I was going to give it to you, but I wanted to wait for the right time." I shrugged and slid my shoes on. "It'll be a lot cuter coming from you anyways."

Severus carefully tore out the page and I grabbed a watermelon flavored beatle candy as we walked out the door. The two of us split up only slightly as we sat at the Gryffindor table, him with Lily and me with James and Sirius. Peter and Remus came down a few minutes later and joined us. We ate and joked around together while we waited for classes to start. Remus sighed and leaned agaist me, laying his head on my shoulder. I thought nothing of it and absent-mindedly started playing with his hair. It wasn't until Sirius raised an eyebrow at the two of us that I realized that it was unusual for Remus to get so touchy feely with me. I shrugged the shoulder that wasn't being used as a pillow and tried to feed Remus a peice of sausage since he had barely touched his own food.

Sirius ambushed my in History of Magic, dragging my chair close to his and setting his hand on my shoulder to keep me from shying away. "So, what's actually going on between you and Moony, Ghost? You seemed rather snuggly today and you've been mooning after each other for months, pun intended."

"You know nothing's going on with us." I shrugged, trying to get away. "We're just friends, just like you and Wormtail and Prongs."

"Wormtail, Prongs, and I don't nap on your shoulder." Sirius said, smirking at me triumphantly.

"He's just tired because it's right after the moon."

"You and I also don't sneak into the forest together or hang out alone in the library." Sirius countered.

I rolled my eyes. "Severus gives me enough crap about it for all of you. We just study together. It's not my fault you guys never study and avoid the library like it's the plague."

"Fine, continue pretending you two don't have the hots for each other, but just remember that I know better." Sirius shook his head. "I think the worst part of this whole conversation is that you actually believe that. I saw that kiss on Halloween. I see the way you look at each other. You two are as bad as James when it comes to Lily."

"Don't even go there, Sirius Black. Never once have I wrote him a horrible poem or purposely driven him crazy." I smiled. "I also haven't dated every guy in school in an attempt to make him jealous, which doesn't work anyways because Lily doesn't even like James."

"Just ask him on a date. It's not like it's rocket science." Sirius said rolling his eyes. "I do it at least once a week."

"And that right there is exactly why, even if I did fancy Remus, I would never take advice about it from you." I winked and jerked my chair to my own side of the desk.

Sirius must have told everyone that I was in a foul mood today, because everyone was fairly quiet around me for the rest of the day. I'd sat on my own at lunch and spent my afternoon studying in silence. It wasn't until dinner that anyone came to check on me at my table in the library. They sent Remus since they figured I wouldn't yell at him.

"Dez, are you okay?" He asked softly, sitting in the chair across from me. "You haven't said one word to me all day and Sirius said you snapped at him in History."

"Yeah, I'm fine just..."

"Tired?" Remus guessed.

"Yeah. How'd you-"

"Know?" He smirked. "It seems to be a fashion trend. I'm tired and cranky. The guys are tired and cranky. Heck, even Lily told Severus that she was too tired to hang out with him this evening. Did I miss a party this weekend?"

I chuckled. "Nope, no parties. The boys and I were just up late doing our homework because we put it off until Sunday evening. And Lily's probably just mad at Severus. He's kind of an idiot when it comes to women."

"Most men are." Remus chuckled. "Look at Sirius and James for instance."

I smirked. "Yeah, they wouldn't know how to keep a girl if they tried."

"Mostly because they've spent so much time learning to get rid of them." Remus laughed.

"Yeah..." I sighed. "Speaking of getting rid of girls... I promise I'll only ask once, but why did you turn me down when I asked for a drink in Hogsmeade awhile back?"

"You know why."

"You know that I don't care about your... condition."

"Dez..." Remus sighed.

"Okay, leaving you alone now." I sighed back and headed for dinner without even bothering to put my books away, no one but me ever went to that table.

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