6. Wingman Duty
I spent the next few weeks researching my options of how to pull this off so that it happened at the perfect time and spending time with Severus, and though I did attend a few "debriefings" with the Marauders, it was mostly about them telling me their plans so that I could congratulate them and avoid the fallout.
"That's the twelfth spell you've taught yourself that will pull it off." A quiet voice whispered from just behind me and I jumped up and spun around pulling my wand on Remus Lupin. I took the opportunity to get my first good look at the quietest Marauder. Now that I was seeing him up close, I noticed that while he did look tired and slightly ill, he was actually rather handsome. The scars that would mar most people's looks actually accentuated his otherwise flawless skin giving him an air of maturity like a battle worn knight. His skinny, malnutritioned body actually was covered in sleek muscles like the world's best seekers. And his eyes had seemed to change colours slightly. Instead of being the colour of deep amber, today they were almost a dark yellowish shade.
"You scared the hell out of me Remus. Never sneak up on an experienced duellist. Even if they are your friend." I smiled lightly at the boy and set my wand on the table as I settled back into my seat.
"Sorry Desari." He gave me a boyish smile. "I just saw you in here the last few days and decided that you might need some help."
I laughed lightly. I had never seen any of the other marauders set foot in the library, but Remus seemed to be here every time I dropped by. I was usually with Severus, so I didn't bother attempting to talk to him, but the last few days I'd greeted him quickly before settling into a desk just two rows away from the restricted section. "Yeah, well, I can't seem to be able to decide on which one I like."
"I can help with that, though don't let the boys find out that I'm not a total goody two shoes. They might try to get my help all the time." He smiled and his amber-yellow eyes sparkled mischievously at me.
"I promise that I won't." I giggled and slid my notes over to him. "The first one is very flashy and would dispose of the masks easily, but it's not the kind of spell we can put a time delay on. But the last one is nearly perfect. It would essentially take effect exactly twenty four hours after it was cast, which would be easy, so long as you boys are willing to break curfew with me. The problem is, with that one, I'd have to transfigure the mask into something else too, and it wouldn't be flashy."
Remus poured over my notes for a little bit before looking up at me with a grin. "Okay, if we go with the second one, we're going to have to find a way to coax them onto the dance floor. You four can take care of the charms on their robes and masks. Bellatrix's can be just a moment after the other's, that way everyone can get a good look at them before they see Bella's masterpiece. I will handle getting them to the centre of the dance floor."
"You sneaky little brat, you're just trying to get out of breaking curfew, aren't you?" I teased him lightly.
"Well, a handsome prince such as myself needs his beauty rest to be able to crawl the castle all night on All Hollow's Eve." Remus said in a fairly accurate Sirius impression.
"Mr Lupin, calm yourself. You're going to make a delicate lady like me swoon if you continue this merciless seduction." I teased, winking at him. I couldn't help but notice how close I'd become with the marauders after only a few short weeks.
"Well, my delicate lady, I suppose I should lay off then." He joked, going along with it. "Perhaps another day."
I smiled slightly and glanced at my watch. "Well, that's my free period of the day. I must be off to meet up with my dear, greasy, dungeon crawler. I wouldn't want him growing suspicious of why I keep sneaking off."
Remus laughed lightly. "Oh, if you ask Lily to cover for you for a few hours, I doubt Severus would even notice your absence."
I smiled lightly. "I actually did recruit Lily this time. Told her that I had a divination essay to do, and she knows how he hates divination."
"But you're in Muggle Art that period…." Remus raised an eyebrow. "With James and I. How could you-"
"I'm not in Divination. But Lily and Severus take Arithmancy that period, so they don't know that." I smiled coyly. "Besides, I think they would make a great couple. I dunno what's stopping them."
"You don't know that James is in love with Lily, do you?" Remus chuckled. "Lily hasn't managed to have a boyfriend in nearly a year because James and Sirius terrorize any boy she might fancy."
"Isn't James dating that Hufflepuff girl with the big doe eyes?" I frowned as I distinctly remembered seeing them snogging on the second floor one day.
"Yeah, I'm not sure that he realizes that Lily doesn't want to be another check mark on his broomstick. Though I'm also sure that Lily doesn't know that she wouldn't be. James actually likes her. He just doesn't know how to express that."
"Let me guess, he's tried prank after prank and annoyed her to death with his arrogance?" I smiled lightly.
"Pretty much." Remus agreed as he headed back to his own desk which was strewn with homework.
I smiled and headed out to meet up with Severus in the common room. I smiled when I got to out portrait which was of Adam and Eve in the garden with Lucifer. I had always wondered if the other Slytherins realized that the muggles had turned this painting of the first parselmouth into their own religious icon. "Salazar's Chamber" I said and the snake hissed at me before the portrait opened.
I glanced around the common room. Rosier, Avery and a few other of the darker students were lounging in the far corner and talking in low voices. Rodolphus and Bellatrix were wrapped up in a nauseating embrace in another. There were other students scattered around playing wizard's chess and other such games. The only open seat was the couch right in front of the fire. No one liked to sit there, because it was the only well-lit seat in the whole underground common room.
I curled up on the couch with a muggle book and read by the fire light. I felt rather than saw Severus settle in beside me and I immediately stashed my book before he could realize what exactly it was.
"How was your play date with Evans?" I smiled lightly.
"Lily and I are just friends, Dez. How many times do I have to tell you that?" Severus sighed rubbing his temples as if he had a headache.
"Sev, you don't have to lie to me. I know you're just friends, but I also know you wish that you were more than that. You love her. I can see it in your eyes every time you so much as think about her." I set a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Why don't you just tell her how you feel and see where it leads?"
"Potter." Was his gruff answer.
"James Potter will terrorize you no matter what. Does it really matter why he does it?" I shrugged. "The way I see it, you either, ignore your feelings and lose her forever because you never gave her a chance, or you tell her and maybe live happily ever after. I mean, what's the worst that could happen if you tell her how you feel about her?"
"If I tell her how I feel and she doesn't feel the same, I could easily lose her as a friend. Being her friend is better than being nothing to her." Severus whispered.
"Oh, Sev." I pulled my friend into a hug. "I adore you to death, but you've got to do something about this. Lily's a kind and talented witch. She wouldn't abandon you just because you love her. Besides, what if she does love you back? Then the two of you could be happy together. You could get married and have cute little red haired babies."
"I don't think we should be thinking of marriage and babies quite yet. I mean we are only fifteen after all." Severus said dryly.
"Always the one to over-think, Sev. I just want my best friend to be happy, and if it takes a gorgeous witch like Lily Evans to do that, then I will make it my life long goal to help you win her heart." I smiled at him.
Severus sat together for hours that night. Sometimes we joked dryly about Lily or James or even Sirius, but mostly we sat in comfortable silence just enjoying each other's company. By the time we headed up to our respective dorms, we were both half asleep and thanking the lord that it was Friday.