SIXTEEN

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P R E T E N D
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The Wizards Chessboard sat between each player, acting like a peaceful boundary when it actually was the cause of tension in the first place. On one side sat a stiff postured blonde, surveying each move with narrowed eyes and utmost determination. On the other was the amused sweater wearing boy, warm eyes watching her with a small smirk.

Her gaze finally fluttered away from the game with a scowl. She scooted her chair back slightly and used her right hand to push the board away, "I'm tired, I don't want to play anymore."

"Could it possibly be because you're losing?" Remus asked with a regaling laugh.

She snapped her head up at the true accusation. An attempt to sound nonchalant was brought together, but it failed miserably. The words came out in sputters, "I have no clue what you're talking about because I, in fact, am not losing."

"Then you wouldn't mind if I . . ." He brushed his fingers over the ebony queen piece that would instantly win him the game.

Surprisingly, she didn't make a move to stop him. Instead she sunk further into the plush chair and simply returned his threat with a slight shrug, "Well, I guess if you don't want to cuddle before our friends return from Hogsmeade, I can't force you."

It was now he who stuttered over his words with wide eyes, surprised at the offer but definitely not declining it. Contact between the two had been limited to a rather neighborly conduct while their fellow friends were around. Their hands wrapped around each other during lessons only to be stuffed beneath the tables, hidden like an old book or a bizarre hat.

They were not ashamed, it was more of the fact that neither party had defined what they were yet. Did the concealed holding of hands and out of the blue pecks on the cheek from Freya qualify him to assume she wanted more than that?

Asking her wasn't the problem, he was not scared to bring up the subject. It was more of the fact that in his eyes, she deserved the whole damn world. And how could he ever hope to bring her just that when half of his life was spent cowering away from the less-important moon?

All the same, Remus was unable to take Freya up on the offer because at that precise moment — their playful redhead friend burst through the portrait door. Her green eyes immediately landed on the only two people in the room before the corners of her lips turned up into a petite smile.

"God, I can barely breathe with all the sexual tension in here," she teased, something she would normally say. This time, however, she had unknowingly been correct. Luckily for the pair, Lily had plopped herself down on the couch a little ways from them and was unable to see the flustered look that had crossed both Remus and Freya's face.

"Seems like you'd be used to it by now, Lil," Freya said casually, rising from the seat and sauntering over for a better affect, "With James and all."

"Never," Lily stated firmly, shaking her head multiple times for good measure, "Going to happen."

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Freya had become accustomed to taking no notice of the owls flying in and out of the Great Hall. She rarely got any letters, and when she did they were pointless ones from her parents about schoolwork or random gossip happening within their family. So that morning when a screech owl landed in between Sirius and herself, she did not look up from her rather delicious blueberry muffin.

"Well it's not for me," Sirius laughed at the idea of his parents sending him mail, although the joy did not reach his grey eyes.

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