THIRTEEN

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F E A R
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A pack of nearly twenty students, mostly female, crowded around James that morning before lessons. Plates of breakfast food were left abandoned in their spots as everyone leaned in to listen intently to his story — despite it being told at least four times now — in awe.

"And then the plan worked perfectly! Talon passed the Quaffle to me and WHAM! Another goal! And then —"

"Good job, mate!" Sirius interrupted with a laugh, pushing through the crowd to clap James on the back three times. An uncomfortable grimace shadowed Remus's features as he retreated away from his friends and towards the girls that were seated away from the retelling.

Before he was even able to reach them at their table, Mary was already directing questions towards him curiously, "Are you going to tell us what's going on between you lot?"

Freya sat on the edge of her seat as she awaited what she hoped was the big reveal. After all, it had been three weeks since a normal conversation occurred between the Marauders. Even Lily noticeably lowered the History of Magic notes she had been quizzing Marlene with to slyly eavesdrop.

The sweater clad boy rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly before peeking over Freya's shoulder to read the front page of the Daily Prophet. His warm breathing somehow left chill bumps across her collarbones and caused confusion inside her mind.

"Freya," he whispered, his tone indicating that he wished her to turn his way. The blonde frowned and a hundred alarms seemed to blast in her brains.

You idiot!
He wants you to answer for the kiss!
He was bound to ask someday!

"I'm sorry," she blurted.

"Why're you sorry?" Remus asked before using a long finger to point towards the headline on the paper, "I was only going to show you that."

The bold, ebony ink title indicated by Remus read, Mass Murder Of Muggles Reveal Magical Routes. Bile rose in her throat as she briskly folded and tucked the newspaper in between them so Lily would not notice and suffer the same disgusted stomach ache as she did. Her thoughts shifted to the society, the Order of the Phoenix, that Lily had mentioned towards the beginning of the year and she pondered over it for a few moments. If she talked to Dumbledore and made enough valid points, would he be convinced to allow her to join early?

Two fingers snapping in front of her face brought her away from the unpredictable outcome and back into the Great Hall. "Freya?" Lily's voice spoke, "What are you concentrating so hard on?"

She met the redhead's glance and attempted to form a believable excuse, not wanting to bestow the same worried feeling on her, but no answer came to mind.

"We've got Defense Against the Dark Arts in less than ten minutes so we should be going," Remus intercepted, grabbing Freya's hand softly and tugging her away from the seat and next to him. Her blue eyes slowly lowered themselves down to connect with the intwined fingers, not believing the feeling to be real.

Her free hand was used to cram the Prophet into her leather satchel before the bag itself was slung over her shoulder in a hurry. The two waited for Lily to gather her notes as Marlene glanced at Freya's wrist with a playful smirk, her lips parted to let a more than likely embarrassing comment pass through them, but Mary thankfully tugged the girl away.

"You two go on as well," Lily smiled lightly, eyes falling on their hands before she used a piece of bagel to point to James, who was still in the middle of his retelling, "I'll go get him before his ego explodes."

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