Pink Green Blue

A Discourse on Manly Men by Hourglass nomineenotsosoft

Rating: PG. Created: April 21st, 2007. Updated: April 21st, 2007. Read Reviews (23)
Disclaimer: Characters, the magical world, etc, is property of J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros, not the owner of this fic.

A/N: I wrote this about a year ago when I was going through a serious bout of writer's block, stumbled across it last night, and thought it was too funny and awful not to post. It's very rough, obviously, because it just wouldn't be worth the effort to clean it up at all.

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Lily Evans was lounging in a large, exceedingly worn, exceedingly comfortable armchair in the sparsely populated Gryffindor common room. It was a late Thursday night, and most students had long since retired to bed— excluding those who were still working feverishly on heaping amounts of homework due on the impending morrow. Lily, of course, had already completed her heavy load of homework – as a rule, she tried never to procrastinate – yet she still sat slouched leisurely in the cushioned chair, legs draped over the armrest, a thick book grasped in both hands, face drawn in concentration.

That was how Peter Pettigrew stumbled across her when he came trundling through the portrait hole, muttering to himself and making vague hand gestures, his eyes glued to the floor as he made his way toward the boys’ staircase. Lily placed her book down and watched in bemusement as Peter marched past her chair without so much as a nod of acknowledgment, still clearly in the midst of what seemed to be a rather intense inner dialogue of sorts.

Cupping both hands to her mouth, she called out, “Pettigrew!” and was rewarded for her efforts with a preoccupied “Huh?” and an accompanying look of bewilderment. Lily rolled her eyes; Peter could be so damned flighty sometimes— if that was even the right word for it. All Lily knew was that he could be dreadfully awkward and dreadfully inattentive when he set his mind to it.

“Hi,” she continued, swinging her legs to the floor and patting the now unoccupied armrest. “You look like you need to talk.”

“I do not need to talk,” Peter said firmly, but he took a betraying step closer to where she was seated.

“Was the date really that bad, Peter?” she asked knowingly, tilting her head sympathetically and trying not to smile.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Peter reiterated, but he crossed the common room in hurried strides and plopped down unceremoniously onto the previously proffered armrest. “It was horrible,” he said, shaking his head, his eyes vacant as though recalling a particularly excruciating memory – which, Lily reasoned, he probably was.

“So,” Lily said, sighing and clasping her hands in her lap attentively. “Your little midnight rendezvous to the kitchens didn’t go well? No rub-rub-rub under the table? No heavy petting?”

She arched both eyebrows suggestively, and Peter made a simultaneous grunt and grimace of disgust and loathing. “That is none of your business, thank you very much. A gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell.” There was a momentary pause, and then Peter was sliding off the armrest and turning to face Lily on bended knees, his eyes wild with barely suppressed humiliation. “She said I wasn’t man enough, Lily. What does that even mean? I mean, seriously, what does that mean? She said she figured I’d be a man because I’m a Marauder, but—” He laughed a bit wildly here, “Apparently I am not a man. What does that mean, Lily? What does that mean? What do James, Sirius, and Remus have that I don’t have?”

Lily unclasped her hands and leaned forward in her seat to look Peter straight in the eye. “Do you really want to know?”

Yes.”

“You really want to know? You’re not going to get all defensive and twitchy on me the moment I start saying something you may not want to hear?”

No. Just give it to me. I can take it.”

“You’re a great guy, Peter—”

“I already don’t like where this is going.”

“What? Why?”

“Because this is clearly a ‘but’ conversation. ‘You’re a great guy, Peter, but most of the girls at Hogwarts think you’re a flaming homosexual.’”

“Okay, you’re definitely getting all weird and Petery on me. I’m not going to continue.”

“All right, fine. I’ll shut up.”

“You’re a man, Peter. You’re just not – how can I put this? – you’re not really a manly man.”

“So, what? I’m like a feminine man?”

“You’re twitching. No, Pettigrew, you’re not a feminine man. You’re just… a man.”

Peter stared at her blankly.

“All right, let’s start with the obvious. Sirius is the consummate manly man. The looks, the demeanor— Sirius has the macho man routine down pat. No one in Hogwarts does it better. He rides a flying motorcycle, for Merlin’s sake. You can’t really compete with that. And then there’s Remus, who has the whole strong and silent thing working for him, y’know?”

“No, I don’t know.”

“Remus has intensity, and you can tell by just looking at him that that boy has some serious throwdown.”

“Throwdown?”

“Throwdown. Like if Remus wanted you, he would have you, fast and furious. Of course, this is all conjecture. I’ve yet to see my theory in practice. And then even Potter has a bit of manliness to him, with his innate athleticism and all the requisite cockiness that goes with it. Girls really go for that. You, Peter, have none of that.”

“Gee, thanks, Lils. I’m really glad you’re the person I ran into tonight. You’re doing wonders for my already wounded ego.”

“I’m not finished, you dolt,” Lily said, leaning forward to flick him on the forehead. “What you do have, Peter, is a heart, and that’s worth more than a flying motorcycle, or strange, smoldering intensity, or skill on a broomstick. You’re kind, Peter. Kind to your very soul. Kind and kind of awkward— but wholly sweet. And you just have to wait for the right girl to come along and really see you – see into that gentle heart of yours – because all the wrong girls… they won’t see you for who you really are. You’re a man, Pettigrew. A real man. The kind of man who knows how to adore a woman the way she wants to be adored. Everything else… not so important in the long run.”

“Yeah, I’m not sure I believe all that.”

“Well—”

“But thanks. That was surprisingly heartfelt for you.”

“I do have my moments.”

Peter opened his mouth to say something more but quickly swiveled his head around when he heard the portrait hole swinging open from behind him. James Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin ambled in, all three gravitating toward Lily’s armchair when they caught sight of the redhead and still kneeling blonde boy.

“What’s up?” Sirius asked through a full mouth of food. “You two look all secretive and stuff.”

“Nothing.” Lily said with a smile. “Peter was just telling me about his hot date tonight.”

“Hot date? Peter had a hot date? Peter, you sly dog. How did it go?”

“Lily thinks Remus has throwdown,” Peter blurted, eyes wide, foot inserted firmly in mouth.

“I beg your— what?” James said eloquently.

Sirius looked intrigued; Remus looked nonplussed.

“Lily, is there something you’d like to tell me?”

“Well, we were trying to keep it under wraps, but I guess the secret’s out. Remus and I have been having an affair. The type of affair bored housewives read about in trashy Harlequin romance novels. Remus usually plays the role of libertine pirate of justice, and I am usually his saucy servant wench, who more often than not turns out to be the daughter of a duke. And yes, James, I would like you to know that your good friend Remus has some serious throwdown.”

Remus shrugged as if this was all old-hat to him. Sirius snickered. Peter looked relieved to have his friends’ attentions diverted. And Lily picked up her book, slung her legs back over the armrest, and resumed reading.

“So how was your date, Wormtail? Don’t tell me you didn’t get to second base. Do not tell me you didn't get to second base, Peter.”

“Well, he sure did storm off in a huff.”

“I don’t think he got to second base, Padfoot.”

“I don’t think Lily really had an affair with Moony.”

“I don’t think I know why I’m friends with the whole lot of you.”

“I don’t think any of you appreciate the fact that I am trying to read here.”

“I think I have a migraine.”

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