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Old January 22nd, 2011, 8:44 pm
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gelowo93  Female.gif gelowo93 is offline
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gelowo93's one shots

This is where I'm going to post any one shots that I decide to write. Yes, I am aware that I'm not even halfway through my actual fanfic but I hit a mental block with that and this first one was just waiting to be wrote down and posted. I have a few other one shots floating around my head and I might post a few of my entries for the Master of Death contest last year in here as well. I hope you enjoy and the link to feedback is at the bottom

Just Neville

Whispers followed Neville as he made the familiar journey up to the fourth floor. It was an uncomfortable feeling having people stop and stare at his as they passed. Once they thought he was out of earshot, the whispers would start. Neville made a mental note to ask Harry how he dealt with it the next time he saw him.

Of course, the whispers and constant staring was only to be expected. As soon as the journalists had finished interviewing Harry, Ron and Hermione, they had descended on him like Bowtruckles on Doxy eggs. The leading force behind the rebellion at Hogwarts, the student who had stood up to You-Know-Who, set alight in front of both armies and still carried on fighting, killing the snake and taking down Greyback…

Yes, the Prophet had credited him as doing all those things, but Neville didn’t think he deserved it. It had been Ginny, Luna and he who had started the rebellion, he was only one in a long line of people who had faced You-Know-Who, the flames hadn’t burnt him (thanks to Harry’s sacrifice) and Ron had helped him with Greyback. Cutting off the stupid snake’s head was the only thing Neville took credit for.

Neville reached the right floor and made his way along the corridor to the end where the Janus Thickey ward was. He pressed the doorbell next to the door and waited.

He stared guiltily down at his feet while he waited. It had been nearly two months since the Battle of Hogwarts and he had been too busy to go along with Gran on her visits. Helping to repair the castle and starting the Auror apprenticeship had taken up all his time until today – his first day off. Neville had never considered being an Auror, at any rate his grades had never been high enough, but Kingsley Shacklebolt had asked many from his year who had fought in the battle to help the Auror division as they were having trouble catching some of the Death Eaters who had escaped. Neville had accepted, as well as Harry, Ron and a few others.

Despite rather enjoying it, Neville still didn’t see it as a long-term thing. He supposed having seen first hand what sort of danger being an Auror put you in had put him off the idea. It was okay for now, but Neville wanted to put the war and all the fighting behind him now that it was over for good.

The door to the ward opened, making Neville jump.

“Well, if it isn’t Neville Longbottom,” said Healer Marstoff.

Neville smiled hesitantly. Healer Marstoff had been in charge of this ward for as long as he could remember. She was a friendly woman, now in her mid fifties, with greying blonde hair that was tied up in its usual messy bun.

“Come on in,” she said, opening the door wider. “Your grandmother says you’ve been very busy, joining the Aurors.”

“Yeah,” said Neville, following her into the ward. She closed the door behind him and locked it with a tap of her wand. “I don’t think I’ll stay there, though. I’ll just help out catching the Death Eaters for a year or so and then I’ll find something else to do. I never fancied being an Auror much.”

Healer Marstoff smiled at him sadly.

“I’ll let you have some privacy. If you need me I’ll be in my office.”

She turned her back and went into her office.

Neville looked around the ward. It mostly stayed the same from visit to visit, with the occasional new photograph being put up beside a bed. Relly, the only changes came when one of the inhabitants died and someone new moved in. Neither happened all too often.

Shaking off these morbid thoughts, Neville walked over to the two beds at the far end of the ward. He waved to Gilderoy Lockhart as he passed his bed.

When he reached the beds which his parents occupied, Neville couldn’t help grinning.

The usual photographs showing Neville at different ages throughout his childhood were still stuck to the wall, along with the Daily Prophet article about the break in to the Ministry during his fifth year at Hogwarts (even though Neville hadn’t been mentioned in it by name, his Gran had insisted on putting it up). It had been joined by various more newspaper clippings, most of which were accompanied by a picture of Neville awkwardly smiling and waving at the camera.

“Hi mum, hi dad.”

Neither returned the greeting. They did turn to him smiling, as he settled into the chair between their beds, though. Neville felt his face go red.

“Gran told you about what happened at Hogwarts then? Harry got rid of You-Know-Who, at last. Harry Potter, you know James and Lily’s son.”

Neville thought he saw a flicker of recognition on his mother’s thin face at the mention of Harry’s parents’ names, but then it was gone and he was sure he had imagined it.

A few days after the battle, Harry had invited Neville to a meeting with the Order of the Phoenix, along with Ginny and Luna, saying that “they deserved to know what had been going on”. Harry had started from the very beginning and explained everything about You-Know-Who, going from his childhood as Tom Riddle, through the business with the prophecy, his first downfall and what seemed to be Harry’s own life story. Neville had been shocked to hear how he was involved with the prophecy business, but was interested in the small bits of information about his parents that no one in his family had mentioned – like how they had been members of the Order and had defied You-Know-Who three times – even if Harry didn’t know the details.

Neville sat in silence for a while, feeling a bit awkward. He had never visited his parents on his own before and he didn’t quite know what to say. Both had lost their voices years previously and now Neville only had vague memories of them talking, and even that was mumbled nonsense a lot of the time.

“I joined the Aurors,” Neville said, finally. “They wanted help catching the Death eaters and asked a few of us who fought in the battle. I won’t stick with it long-term, though. I think…” Neville hesitated – he had never spoken this thought out loud before. “…I think I want to be a teacher. I’m good at Herbology so I’d like to do that.”

He looked round at his mum and dad who were smiling and nodding at him. It was in an absent-minded way that made Neville sure that they didn’t really know what he was talking about, but he appreciated it all the same.

“They’ve been talking about putting us on chocolate frog cards. Me, Harry, Ron and Hermione. I promise I’ll get you some if they do.”

Silence again. Neville racked his brain for something else to say.

“Do you remember Remus Lupin? He was in the Order with you and he taught me Defence Against the Dark Arts a few years ago… Well he had a baby before he died. A boy. I think Harry said they named him Teddy.”

Neville sat and made idle talk with his mum and dad for another hour. They both stared blankly ahead while he talked and his mum would start humming every now and again, but Neville pretended that they were listening and after a while he stopped feeling awkward. He talked just as he would to anyone, filling them in on his day to day life.

When he was leaving, Neville kissed his parents on the cheek.

“I’ll come back and visit as soon as I can. I’m busy at the moment so I don’t know when it’ll be. Gran will probably keep you updated.”

Neville was about to walk away when his mum beckoned him towards her.

“What is it, mum?”

She had raised her hand and Neville saw that it was clenched around something. He put his own hand out so she could give whatever it was to him. She dropped it into his hand and pulled away so he could see what it was.

Neville recognised the wrapper instantly and was ashamed that he had forgotten: at the end of every visit his mum had always given him a Drooble’s gum wrapper. Today was no exception.

“Thanks, mum.” He smiled and pocketed it.

He said goodbye then and left, waving to Healer Marstoff in her office.

Neville was glad, as he made his way back through St. Mungo’s and the whispering and staring started again, that no matter how famous he might be for helping to destroy a dark wizard, he was still just Neville to his parents.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 9:47 pm
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Re: gelowo93's one shots

I know I've not been doing much of these since the first one, but I've been busy and they are just a side project.

Time

Time had no meaning here. Only the thrice daily arrival of meagre meals signified its passing. Weeks, months and years had no importance when each day was the same, with only the screams coming from neighbouring cells varied between days. Some pleaded for death, others for innocence (though those usually faded out after the first few weeks) but it didn’t matter – there was no one here to listen.

Even the screams weren’t enough for Sirius Black to distinguish one day from the next. He had learnt how to block out the screams coming from the neighbouring cells and spent his days in silence, dwelling on his own thoughts in the corner of his own dark cell. The fact of his own innocence, which had burnt brightly as a flame inside him and keeping him sane during the early years, had now dulled and left only apathy: he no longer cared whether he was guilty or innocent, it only mattered that he would be living out the rest of his life on this cold rocky island surrounded by the people and creatures he hated. Except for one.

How had he been stupid enough to not see that Wormtail had been the traitor? Looking back now it was obvious: he had suddenly started turning up for every Order meeting whereas before he frequently forgot, he would rarely come back from missions injured when everyone knew him to be probably the person least proficient with magic in the Order, and he had started mentioning – hinting at – Moony’s absences…

Moony. Sirius almost sighed at the thought. It was ridiculous to think that he had believed Wormtail over Moony, and yet he had done so, despite them growing closer than ever in those few short years before the night when Sirius’ world had been turned upside down. He had been a fool to throw all that away. Sirius had never accused Moony outright of being the traitor but there were other things, things that had perhaps been more hurtful, that he had done. Brief accusatory glances in his direction, harsh acceptances of Moony’s apologies that weren’t acceptances at all, planning to meet up with him but never really intending to show. It truly was a miracle that he hadn’t called Sirius out on it, if Moony had been acting like that to him, he would have cut the tether a long time ago. But Sirius had known that Moony would never choose to lose a friend and he had used that.

They had continued to see each other occasionally due to the bond they had formed but each other’s trust had been lost, resulting in their company being like that of a strangers. And a stranger’s company was not the same as the company of his Moony.

Darkness fell over Sirius and he jerked his head up to see who had blocked his light. Sirius chose to sit in that particular corner of his cell precisely because it was the only part that caught the sunlight and if he stayed there long enough he was sometimes lucky to get slightly warm. He was ready to tell whoever had stood in his light exactly where to go, until Sirius saw who it was.

Sirius grinned as he looked up into the face of Cornelius Fudge. He knew of the Minister for Magic’s concern as to why he had not gone insane like the rest of them, having eavesdropped on a number of the conversations between the Minister and the Dementors. This gave Sirius the opportunity for a bit of fun whenever Fudge came on his infrequent visits to Azkaban Even now, he could see Fudge’s expression falter as he grinned up at him.

“Hello, Minister,” Sirius croaked, his voice was quiet from lack of use. Nevertheless, Sirius was sure that Fudge would be able to hear him.

Fudge didn’t reply but merely continued to examine him. It seemed clear to Sirius that he had grown accustomed to his old tricks to try to unnerve him. Sirius would have to try a different tactic.

He stood up – with difficulty – and sauntered over to the shelf embedded in the stone wall that served as his bed. It was closer to the cell door so that the Dementors could keep a check on the prisoners while they slept; apparently emotions were harder to read while they were sleeping. Sirius sat on the edge of the shelf.

“Enjoying your visit, Minister? It’s a nice day for it, with the sun.”

It took Fudge a long time to reply, as if he was carefully going over every word of Sirius’ to see if what he said meant something other than the obvious.

“Just a routine visit, Black. Making sure everything’s in order.”

“You’re not taking comments, I suppose? It’s just that I’d quite like a newspaper with breakfast. You haven’t got one on you, have you? I miss doing the crosswords.”

Sirius had possibly never told a bigger lie; he hated crosswords with a passion. He had scorned at Moony, and then Lily, for doing them and had frequently written the wrong answers in before anyone could get the chance to do it properly.

“I – yes, I do.” Sirius appeared to have managed to unnerved Fudge, as the Minister put his hands wildly in every pocket before finally pulling out a Daily Prophet from the inside of his robes and pushing it through the bars of the cell.

“Are you sure you’re finished with it, Minister?” Sirius asked, the politeness in his voice disguising the fact that he was laughing on the inside.

“Yes - yes, have it.”

And with that, Fudge walked away.

Sirius sat chuckling to himself for a moment before grabbing the newspaper from the floor, at which point his laughter stopped immediately.

Wormtail.

He was right there, in a photograph on the front cover. Not in his human form, obviously, but in his animagus, rat form, sat on a boy’s shoulder who was blissfully unaware that a murderer was on him.

Sirius quickly scanned the article. It held no information of importance apart from the last line: “The Weasley family will be spending a month in Egypt, returning for the start of the new school year at Hogwarts, which five of the Weasley children currently attend.” Sirius studied the photograph again. Wormtail was on the shoulder of what looked like the youngest boy. He looked about Hogwarts age, meaning that if Wormtail was this boy’s pet, then he would be returning to Hogwarts in September too. His brain working faster than it had in many years, Sirius looked at the date at the top of the page; 1993. That would make Harry thirteen, and a student at Hogwarts…

Time had meaning again.

Suddenly, it was running out.

A new flame had ignited within Sirius – purpose. He had to escape and protect Harry; nobody else knew that he was in danger. It was his job to protect Harry, James and Lily had named him Godfather and so far he had been doing a dreadfully bad job of it. It was time to change that.

Sirius looked around his cell desperately, hoping that an escape plan would spring into his mind. No such thing happened. He would have to consume himself in thoughts of how to escape this impenetrable prison, the only one that no one had previously managed to escape from. This would take time.

Time wasn’t something Sirius had much of anymore.
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Old October 15th, 2011, 11:44 am
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gelowo93  Female.gif gelowo93 is offline
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Re: gelowo93's one shots

I started writing this months ago and decided to finish it the other day, it's amazing what I'll do to avoid doing work

The Morning After

Laughter.

It was the first thing he heard as his mind broke through into conscious thought, yet it seemed completely alien to him at that moment. His entire body ached as if his bones had been stretched, which was exactly what had happened, he thought dully. The pain became more severe as he became more aware of it. He groaned and the laughter stopped.

"Do you think we woke him?" A small voice piped up.

"We've been here ages, if we were being too loud he'd have woken up before now," reasoned a second, calmer voice.

"It must just be me who's forgotten what it's like to not be woken up by you two then."

"It's not our fault you're a light sleeper," A third said, brushing off the complaint.

"I'm not a light sleeper, you're just unnaturally loud."

"It's not my fault James couldn't untransfigure me."

"Why did you have to try at three in the morning?"

He groaned at the thought of what they had been trying to do at three in the morning – most likely under the influence of Firewhiskey – but it came out as a grunt of pain.

"See Peter, your complaining is causing Remus physical pain."

"It's more the thought of what you and James were up to," Remus muttered, opening his eyes.

James, Sirius and Peter were sat around his bedside, a screen separating them from the rest of the hospital wing. Sirius had propped his legs up on Remus' bed and was leaning backwards on his chair. Madam Pomfrey walked passed looking harried and shot him a disgruntled look; he ignored it.

"It was nothing," Sirius quickly assured him. "James was messing around and I got a tail. It's fine now, in the sense that it's gone."

There was something in Sirius' voice that told Remus that whatever they had been doing, it wasn't 'nothing'. He had no idea what they could be up to, though.

"You had a tail?" He asked.

"Yeah, it wagged and everything." James grinned. "How are you feeling?"

Remus had the distinct impression that James was trying to change the subject on purpose, but he was too exhausted to say anything about it. Instead, Remus made an attempt to sit up, though he soon stopped after it caused his head to spin and pain shot up his arm. Remus breathed inwards sharply.

"Remus?" Three pairs of eyes all turned to him, concern reflected in each of them.

Remus lowered his eyes under the gazes of his friends. "I'm fine."

"Give us some credit, Remus. We're not stupid."

"I hope you're not including yourself in that."

James laughed, and Remus couldn't help looking up with a grin on his face to see Sirius acting offended at Peter's comment.

"At least I've never managed to shrink myself down to – what? Oh." Sirius stopped speaking after a meaningful glance from James. He looked around awkwardly for a minute, obviously trying to think of something new to start a conversation with. "Evans came to see you before."

"What?" James spluttered before Remus had the chance to speak. "When was this? Why wasn't I here?"

Sirius sighed and gave James an annoyed look. "It was before, when you'd gone out to snog whichever unfortunate girl you're using this week to try to make everyone think you're not obsessed with Evans."

The tops of James ears went pink and he started playing with his glasses. "Her name's Cara."

"Whatever. Anyway, Evans wanted to know something about Prefect duties, wouldn't tell me what exactly because apparently I'd use the information against her."

Remus hadn't been listening to Sirius and James banter, or Sirius telling him what Lily had told him.

"How did she know I was here? What - ?"

"Relax Remus. She doesn't know," Sirius interrupted before Remus could get worked up. "She said she'd heard us talking about visiting you, and I told her you'd come down with something last night. It's fine."

Remus did relax at Sirius' words. He liked Lily; she was the only friend he had outside of the four of them, but he didn't know how she would react if she found out he was a werewolf. She was Muggle-born, so wouldn't have been raised with the prejudices of the Wizarding World, but that didn't mean she wouldn't be terrified of him, or tell her friends.

"Of course. I'll talk to her when Pomfrey lets me out. I don't suppose you know when that will be?"

"Nope, we've barely seen her. Just as we were coming in a bunch of third years came in with pumpkins for heads." Peter leaned back so he could see around the screen. Remus narrowed his eyes at James and Sirius, who were trying to look innocent. They might have succeeded if Remus hadn't known them for four years. "Still got pumpkin heads."

"Really?" said Sirius, a grin spreading across his face and Remus' suspicions were confirmed.

"Why did you turn their heads into pumpkins? Wait – don't tell me, you were –"

"Getting into the Halloween spirit, it's tomorrow, you know." James looked oddly smug at proving Remus half wrong. "Honestly, you think we torture the little 'uns for no good reason except that we're bored."

"Were you bored?"

"Sirius was."

Remus groaned. He had no idea why Dumbledore had bothered to make him Prefect, there was no way he was going to be able to control Sirius and James, and Peter to a lesser extent. There might as well not be a male Gryffindor Prefect a lot of the time, Dumbledore would have been better off appointing two female Prefects instead, and they would have had much better bribing tools than Remus did – saying he'd do their homework if they promised to not hex the first years only gave Remus too much work and James and Sirius more free time. Sometimes Remus felt bad about not trying harder to make his friends toe the line better, then he would remember times like now when they came to visit after his transformations and he'd want to cut them some slack, knowing that they had good intentions the majority of the time.

"I can't believe you're missing the first Hogsmeade weekend," Peter said, disrupting the silence that had momentarily fallen upon the four of them.

"I'll cope. It's not like I've never been before." Remus shrugged.

"We'll get you some chocolate from Honeydukes to cheer you up."

"But I'm not upset about missing it."

"You should be; it's the first trip of the year. We were going to stock up on Zonko's stuff: dungbombs and fanged Frisbees and ever bashing boomerang…"

"Are you actually trying to make me want to go by making my inner Prefect cringe at the thought of you three buying all those things?"

"Maybe."

"It's not like I have a choice in the matter. I'd love to dissuade you from buying all that stuff but I'll just have to confiscate it when you get back."

Remus watched with amusement as the expressions of his three friends fell.

"You wouldn't really do that, would you, Remus?" asked Peter. "I mean, I know you're a Prefect now, but you aren't going to go all Evans on us, right?"

"Hey!" James looked affronted. "What's wrong with Lily?"

"Oh, I didn't know it was Lily now," said Sirius. "And don't pretend you don't know what Pete's on about, she's always getting in our way and stopping us when we want to pull pranks, it's annoying."

"Well, she does only do it when we're crossing the line a bit. I get where she's coming from."

"Says the person who wanted to charm all the Slytherin's brooms so they chucked them off mid-air."

"Yeah, well." James' ears were slowly turning pink again. "We didn't do that in the end."

"Only because Evans caught us and you do anything she tells you to."

"I do not!"

"When was the last time she asked you to do something and you refused?"

"He carried her books to Transfiguration the other day because she couldn't carry them all."

"He stopped talking really loudly in the common room when she told him that people were trying to work."

"He passed her the jam at breakfast."

"What's wrong with passing Lily the jam?" James spluttered.

"Apart from the fact that it was closer to Peter and you were mid-conversation with what's-her-face? It means you're in love, Jamsie."

"I'm not in love with her."

Remus, Sirius and Peter shared unconvinced looks. He hadn't mentioned it to the others, but Remus had borrowed one of James' textbooks and had found doodles saying 'Lily Potter' in the margins, and various other statements and drawings professing James' non-love. Nothing James could say could convince Remus that he wasn't in love with her, and an extremely feminine part of Remus - that was kept tucked deep down somewhere between his intestines - thought it to be romantic. That was, if James didn't express it by stalking Lily and sucking up to her whenever she said anything.

The four of them had had this conversation far too many times to count, and they all knew that it was no good trying to wheedle a confession of undying love out of James. For the first time since Remus had woken up, they fell into a silence that lasted longer than a minute. It wasn't particularly awkward: Sirius started rocking backwards on his chair, whistling tunelessly; Peter was playing with a stray thread that had come undone from the sleeve of his robes; James glared at the opposite wall, obviously still annoyed that the rest of them had ganged up on him.

Feeling his eyes start to droop a little, Remus rested his head back on his pillow. If it wasn't for being exhausted the next day, Remus thought he'd be able to cope with his monthly transformations – he had long grown accustomed to the pain that came with them and it annoyed him more than leaving him bed-bound.

"Do you want us to leave?"

Remus opened his eyes again. "Stay if you want, I'm fine. Weren't you three going to Hogsmeade, anyway?"

"We'll go in a bit, but we don't have to."

Just as Remus was about to open his mouth to reply, Madam Pomfrey appeared round the edge of the screen carrying a tray full of potions.

"Feet on the floor, Mr Black," she admonished. "How are you feeling, Remus?"

"I'm fine, just tired."

"No pain?" She had placed the potions on Remus' bedside table and was now taking his temperature.

"No more than usual."

Madam Pomfrey seemed to be happy with his reply, and started busily pouring out the correct dosages of potions. Remus took them without making a noise. In truth, they tasted disgusting and Remus wouldn't feed them to a flobberworm, but he had long since grown past the stage of complaining about the taste.

Out of the corner of his eye, Remus saw Madam Pomfrey watch over him as he drank each of the potions. She nodded grimly when he had drained the last goblet and turned to take the tray away again.

"How are the third years, Madam Pomfrey?" Sirius asked as she was leaving. Remus felt his heart plummet; he really didn't know how Sirius dared to ask her.

"They'll live," she answered stiffly. Something about her tone of voice told her that she knew exactly who had done it. Without another word, Madam Pomfrey bustled away.

"Do you have a death sentence?" James hissed.

"Nope. I was just making sure they were alright, didn't want them to be stuck with pumpkin heads forever now, did we?"

James shook his head, but Remus swore he heard him mutter "idiot" under his breath.

"Right, well," said Sirius suddenly, springing to his feet. "Twas good to see you, Remus ol' pal, but I think the rest of us have places to be apart from a hospital bedside. No offense."

There was a possibility that Remus would have been offended, if he hadn't heard Sirius say almost the exact same thing many times over the years, and it meant only one thing: some poor girl had agreed to meet up with him in Hogsmeade. Or rather, Sirius had accepted someone's invite, as Sirius had never had to ask anyone for a date, as far as Remus knew. If he stayed still in one place for too long then Sirius would eventually have girls throwing themselves at his feet.

At Sirius' words, James and Peter also stood up, stretching their legs, and for the first time, Remus wondered how long they had been there before he had woken up.

"We'll see you later, Remus."

"Yeah, feel better soon."

"I will."

"Bye."

Remus watched his three friends disappear behind the screen and heard their footsteps retreat as they exited the hospital wing.

He had grown used to their visits the morning following the full moon, and for the most part he didn't get sentimental about it. But sometimes Remus couldn't help grinning into his pillow and thinking about how lucky he was to have the best friends anyone could have.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 8:53 am
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gelowo93  Female.gif gelowo93 is offline
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Re: gelowo93's one shots

Here's my first real go at writing something that doesn't involve the Marauders, which is why everyone's a bit OOC Also, I wrote this for SBean's birthday, and I hope she likes it

All He Ever Wanted

It was nearly time.

Harry Potter had known that this day had been coming for some time, but being this close to it gave him the right to be nervous. Or at least, that’s what he told himself. He wasn’t particularly nervous about one aspect, more all of them put together. He could fluff his lines, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he did, and it wasn’t that hard to repeat what someone else said. Ginny could not turn up, except he knew she would. It didn’t particularly bother him that there would be over a hundred people there; he’d been forced to get used to being the centre of attention years ago and it didn’t affect him anymore.

No, it was just pre-wedding jitters. It was perfectly normal, according to Mr Weasley. And Mrs Weasley. And Bill. And Percy. And Andromeda Tonks. In fact, anyone who Harry had spoken to in the past month had said the same thing.

Or maybe, said a small part of Harry’s brain, something could happen.

Thoughts of Voldemort being reborn and Death Eaters attacking during the ceremony flooded Harry’s mind and he quickly shook his head, as if it would help get rid of them.

That wasn’t going to happen, Harry mentally told himself. Voldemort is dead, everyone saw it happen, and the Death Eaters are all in Azkaban, the dangerous ones at least. He was just being paranoid.

Of course, being paranoid was understandable. Harry had lost count of all the times he had nearly died during his schooldays - or had been attacked - and becoming an Auror had only increased his paranoia. He loved his job, and wouldn’t want to do anything else, but sometimes it was hard to separate work and his personal life. For Harry, whose personal life had consisted of an entire Auror department’s worth of work for so long, it was especially difficult.

Harry played with the collar of his robes that felt like it was threatening to strangle him. They had picked out simple black robes for him to wear that made his bright green eyes stand out even more against his pale skin and black hair. Once again, he made an attempt to flatten his hair. There was no hope for it; over the past few weeks he had tried every available hair potion there was to try to make it stay flat and they had all failed, even the ones that claimed to tame the unruliest of hair. In the end, Ginny had told him that she preferred his hair messy and he had given up, much to Mrs Weasley’s disapproval.

“You okay?”

Ron’s voice made him jump. Harry ran his hand through his hair as he turned round to see his best friend standing in the doorway.

“I’m fine.”

“You don’t sound sure.”

“I am.”

And he was. The dangers of the past were over; he had helped to make sure of that. Sure, being an Auror meant he wasn’t completely safe from harm, but Harry was no longer a schoolboy being forced into a war that had him at the centre and there wasn’t a sociopath set on murdering him. In fact, most of the time, he felt remarkably safer than he had during his schooldays.

And wasn’t this what he had always wanted? He had spent his childhood not knowing what it was like to have a family who cared for him. Then he had met Ron, and the rest if the Weasley’s had welcomed him as one of their own, and although they had been a sort of surrogate family to him, something hadn’t been right. He had still felt like he hadn’t completely belonged and was causing them trouble (which had been true, for the most part).

But now he was starting his own family. Everything he had missed out on growing up, he would have, plus more.

“Ready to go then? I think people are beginning to worry where the groom is.”

“How many journalists have tried to get in yet?” Harry said, attempting a grin but it felt more like a grimace.

“George has the latest count at six, I think. Mum’s started threatening to turn their quills into owls.”

This time Harry did smile; he didn’t envy anyone who got on the wrong side of Mrs Weasley.

“Well, I won’t want to miss that.”

Harry made to walk out, but Ron put his arm across the doorway, blocking Harry from leaving. Harry raised his eyebrows at Ron, who was looking awkward.

“Ron?”

“I – I don’t want to do this, and you know you’re my best mate, but you’re marrying my little sister and –”

“Are you giving me the older brother talk?” asked Harry, slightly bemused. He had already been subjected to some form of this four times and, rather than getting annoyed, he found it amusing.

“Well, yes… Just don’t give me any reason to choose between the two of you, right?”

I asked her to marry me. I’m not going to change my mind.”

At Harry’s words, Ron visibly relaxed and smiled.

“Okay then.” Ron dropped his arm, allowing Harry to pass.

Harry descended the staircase with Ron following him. They were halfway down the steps to the first floor when a door opened below them.

“Harry!” said Hermione as she carefully closed the door behind her. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine. Everyone keeps asking me that.”

Hermione opened her mouth to reply, but a voice could be heard from the room she had just left, and Harry, instantly recognising it, walked down the last few steps so that he was stood outside the door.

“Is that Harry? Hermione, are you still there? Who was that?”

It’s me,” Harry said before Hermione could speak, causing her to purse her lips. “And Hermione’s here too, so she’ll probably hex you if you try to come out, sorry.”

“You don’t think I could beat her in a duel?”

“Well…” Harry glanced at Hermione. “I think if I say you can then you won’t have anyone to say your vows to.”

They heard laughter come from the other room that was quickly cut off when another voice said “Stop moving your head, Ginny, or you’ll have to go down with your hair looking like you’ve just got out of bed.”

“I’ll see you later, Ginny. I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

Harry turned away from the door, feeling as though a fist was clenching his heart. Hermione was watching him, looking as if she was trying to restrain herself from smiling. Ron had his arm casually thrown across her shoulders, and he too was watching Harry.

“What?”

“Nothing.” Now Hermione’s face broke out into a grin. “I’m happy for you.”

“Thanks.”

At that moment, George’s head appeared at the bottom of the stairs.

“There you are, dad sent me to get you.”

“I was getting him,” Ron said indignantly.

“You were taking too long, and now I see why: distractions.” George winked, eyeing Ron’s arm around Hermione. “Thought the groom was going to be the one who was late instead.”

“Shut up. Harry was the one having a conversation through a door.”

“Aah, not been peeking at the bride-to-be, have you? It’s bad luck.”

“Luck hasn’t ever taken an interest in my life, I doubt it’ll start now,” said Harry, making his way to the bottom of the stairs. “What does your dad want doing?”

“I think you’ve just got to stand around and talk to people.”

“Is that it? I can help –”

“There’s nothing to help with, ickle Harry. For once, everything is under control.”

“Are you sure?” Harry asked, pointing out the window to where a small crowd of people all holding Quick Quotes Quills were standing in the Weasley’s back garden.

“Damn, won’t be a second.”

Harry waited out of sight of the journalists, not watching to see how George was going to get rid of them. Ron joined him a few minutes later, looking confused when he saw Harry lying on the sofa so that his head didn’t show over the top.

“Journalists.” Harry nodded towards the window. “So much for a quiet wedding.”

“Were you ever going for quiet?”

Ron had a point. With the amount of people that Harry knew, he was never going to have been able to have a quiet ceremony unless they only invited immediate family. Not wanting to leave anyone out, they had invited his old Quidditch team, members of the DA, Order members, the Dursleys (who had declined but had sent a present and their well wishes) half the Auror department, not to mention the extended Weasley family and Ginny’s teammates. Inviting that many people, the details were bound to get out and the arrival of journalists had been inevitable.

Out of the quiet, came loud shrieks and shouts. Harry jumped off the sofa, drawing his wand and ran to the window. He was ready to start firing spells, until he saw that the shouts were coming from the crowd of journalists and they had all started running towards where the anti-Disapparition charms ended.

Harry narrowed his eyes, and – sure enough – George was sat in a tree not far from where the journalists had been standing. George must have seen that Harry had spotted him, as he waved and began to climb down.

Harry pulled open the back door and walked across the garden.

“Thanks,” Harry said once George was in earshot. “What did you do?”

“What makes you think I did anything?”

“I’m not stupid.”

George grinned. “Their quills may have turned against them. And started writing on their faces.”

Harry laughed. Not for long though; his presence appeared to have been noticed by some of the guests and they were beginning to drift towards his general direction. Harry barely had time to sigh before he felt something crash into his legs.

“Uncle Harry!”

Harry looked down to see a mop of bright red hair, that was slowly turning green, hugging his legs.

“Hi Teddy.” Harry picked up his godson. “You’re getting big, aren’t you?”

“Granny says that too, I had to get new robes even though I told her that you wouldn’t mind if I wore my old ones.”

“I think your Gran wanted you to look nice for my big day.”

“But it’s your big day, so what Granny says shouldn’t matter.”

Harry struggled to not laugh. “What your Gran says always matters.”

But Teddy wasn’t listening, he was looking at where the last of the journalists were Disapparating.

“Why are they leaving? Did they do something wrong?”

“They weren’t invited.”

“So why did they come?”

“They wanted to take photos of Harry and put them in the newspapers,” George supplied.

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Uncle Harry’s been in enough papers, isn’t that right?”

“Definitely.” Harry turned to see Andromeda Tonks having finally caught up to her grandson. “How have you been? I’m sorry I’ve not been around much, work got busy and I had to plan this –”

“No worries, Harry. I know how busy life can get, and you’re not the only babysitter I know.”

“I feel like I should see him more.”

“If you spend any more time with him then he might as well live with you, not me. Apart from the last month, you’ve looked after him every weekend and come round for tea once a week.”

While Harry and Andromeda had been talking, Teddy’s hair had been cycling through the colours of the rainbow. Harry looked down at him before replying to Andromeda, and found himself looking at a brown-haired brown-eyed Teddy Lupin, looking extraordinarily like a younger version of his father. The resemblance was so striking that Harry almost dropped him.

“He’s been doing that a lot since I showed him some pictures of Dora and Remus. I think that might be how he looks without his metamorphmaging, of course, it’s impossible to know for sure.”

The crowd of guests milling around Harry was growing, so he passed Teddy back to his Gran, said goodbye to them for the time being and went to mingle.

Slowly, Harry made his way around the majority of the guests. He was mid-conversation with Paige Skeates, the seeker of the Holyhead Harpies, when Ron interrupted, saying that it was nearly time.

Harry’s nerves, which had been nearly unnoticeable while he had been talking, returned in full force. With his stomach feeling like it had been filled with lead, Harry made his way to the raised platform at one end of the aisle in the marquee that had been constructed in the Weasley’s back garden.

The seats that filled the marquee were beginning to fill up, causing the aisle to become crowded as people tried to find their seat. Fortunately, most people felt it necessary to move out of Harry’s way and he had no trouble making his way towards the raised platform. No trouble, except for nearly walking into a head of pure blonde hair.

“Watch out,” Harry said, picking up the youngster. “If you get trampled by anyone then your mum will have my head.”

Victoire Weasley looked up at Harry and flashed him a smile. It was already obvious to anyone that she had inherited her mother’s Veela charms, and she regularly used them to get her own way.

“Come on, let’s get you back to your dad. Where is he?” Harry glanced over the tops of people’s heads, trying to look for the eldest Weasley brother. He was heading back inside to see if Bill had gone in there when he saw Mrs Weasley come out of the house, spot him, and start walking towards him.

“Do you know where Bill is? Victoire –”

“Oh, don’t bother about that, Harry. Give her here and get back to the marquee; I’ll look after her. Everyone will be wondering where you’ve gone.”

“Thanks.” Harry handed Victoire over to Mrs Weasley. “I couldn’t find Bill and I think Fleur’s got past the point of being able to look after her.”

“Yes, well, the baby’s due in two weeks, and it’s been giving her back pain. No wonder she can’t look after this little rascal.” Mrs Weasley gave Victoire a stern look. “You can’t even behave for Harry and Ginny’s wedding, can you?”

Harry didn’t think Victoire had heard a word that Mrs Weasley had said; she was twisting round in Mrs Weasley’s arms, trying to look around at everyone. Harry laughed.

“Go on, everyone will be missing you, Harry. You can’t avoid the attention today. Everything will be fine, don’t worry.”

“I’m not,” said Harry, and his eyes drifted up towards the first floor of the Burrow.

Mrs Weasley smiled at him, before insisting once again that he return to the marquee. This time, Harry did as she said

Ron was already stood on the raised platform and Harry took his place beside him, underneath the bunch of golden balloons that had become something of a Weasley tradition since Fred and George had decided to use them at Bill and Fleur’s wedding. All of the seats facing him were full, and Harry could feel their occupants’ eyes on him. He lowered his gaze so he wouldn’t have to look at anyone

“I thought we were going to have to send out a search party again. Today isn’t a good day to start disappearing,” Ron said.

“I ran into Victoire, literally. I was trying to find Bill so he could look after her. Just wait until you and Hermione get married, we’ll have to lock all the doors so you won’t go escaping.” Harry grinned.

Ron spluttered and Harry had to refrain from laughing as Ron’s face went visibly paler. “When? We’re not even engaged!”

“It’s only a matter of time; trust me, I knew you were going to get together for years before you did. Just do me a favour and don’t propose to her tonight, Ginny won’t like it and I’ll be legally obliged to side with her. She’s edgy enough about Fleur possibly going into labour during the ceremony.”

Ron didn’t reply, and Harry glanced at him to see that he was staring resolutely ahead.

At that moment, music started playing and the mutterings from the guests quieted. Harry’s stomach seemed to be doing somersaults in his abdomen, making him feel ill.

The music picked up, and Hermione and Luna entered the marquee, wearing lilac dresses. They walked down the aisle, and Hermione gave Harry look that he couldn’t quite decipher before she took her seat.

Any second now…

Harry thought his heart must have stopped. Ginny was walking down the aisle and the rest of the world fell away; Harry wouldn’t have cared whether there were a thousand people there or ten. He was too caught up in the sight of Ginny in her white dress and veil, beaming at him. Time seemed to have slowed down, giving Harry the chance to commit this moment to memory forever, because he was certain he would never forget the sight of the person he loved more than anyone walking towards him.

Ginny had reached the spot where he stood and, as if he was in a daze, Harry took her hand from Mr Weasley’s, not once looking away from her face. He felt his face break into a smile as the officiator began the service.

Harry’s heart felt as if it had swollen to twice its usual size and was constricting his throat – making it a surprise when he was able to repeat the vows that the officiator spoke, and then those two small words with enormous meaning:

“I do.”
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Learning to Live AgainOne shots

Last edited by gelowo93; October 27th, 2011 at 6:50 pm.
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  #5  
Old January 29th, 2012, 10:11 pm
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gelowo93  Female.gif gelowo93 is offline
Fourth Year
 
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Re: gelowo93's one shots

I've completely lost all inspiration for what to put as an author's note now I'm not doing them regularly And apparently it's been longer than I thought since I did one of these, but uni work, and Christmas, and exams has a habit of doing that to my writing Fair warning: this is a Remus/Sirius fic, so if you don't like that, don't read

Something Else

It had been a long day. First, taking the children to King’s Cross, then helping Molly and Arthur Weasley pack so they could move back to The Burrow, and now Remus Lupin was packing – albeit half-heartedly – for himself. It shouldn’t have taken him this long, seeing as he didn’t have that many possessions to call his own that he would be needing, but his general reluctance to pack meant that he had allowed himself to be distracted easily; starting to read any book that he picked up to put back on the bookcase, going back to check the letter that had arrived from Dumbledore, and more than once he had unpacked the tattered old rucksack to make sure he had indeed already packed something.

Now, Remus was immersed in another book he had found on the floor. It wasn’t one of his own; rather, he had found it under the bed when he was looking for some robes that had gone missing. But it had caught his attention, and now he was idly thumbing the pages of the photo album, staring at the photographs on each page for a long time before turning the page.

“You’re leaving again.”

Remus hadn’t heard the door open, and jumped at the sound of Sirius’ voice. He turned around to see Sirius standing in the doorway.

“Yes,” Remus said. He closed the photo album and placed it on the bed next to where he sat.

Sirius didn’t speak as he walked around the bed to sit beside Remus. Remus watched him with a wary eye: ever since he had escaped from Azkaban - and particularly since he had started living in Grimmauld Place - Sirius had become prone to mood swings, and the toneless voice he had spoken with, plus his current silence, suggested to Remus that he was on the verge of one such mood swing.

Remus would have to be careful about what he said in case it set Sirius off.

He inwardly sighed at this thought; Sirius never used to be this hard to be around. In faded memories of days long past, Sirius was always the one laughing, a grin on his face, arms lazily thrown over shoulders… Sure, the war had taken its toll on him, as it had on them all, but Sirius had been the constant, his natural brightness filling every room he walked in. No matter what bad news they had received, Sirius had been able to remind everyone why they were fighting – what they were fighting for.

Now, Remus sometimes wondered whether Sirius knew what they were doing all of this for.

“Are you going back to the werewolves?” asked Sirius, breaking the silence. He wasn’t looking at Remus, choosing to stare out the window to the Muggle square below them. Despite this, Remus wasn’t foolish enough to think that Sirius didn’t know he was watching him.

“Yes. Dumbledore sent me an owl.” Remus gestured towards the piece of parchment on one of the bedside tables. “He said it was important.”

“Is that all I get, ‘important’?” Sirius’ voice hadn’t changed, but there were some things that time couldn’t erase, and one of those things was Remus’ knowledge of how Sirius’ reactions didn’t always correspond to his true feelings on the matter. Remus could tell that anger was bubbling beneath his dispirited visage.

“You know why I need to go. If Voldemort gains the werewolves as an ally again then people’s lives are going to be ruined, and it isn’t just those who become infected. Their families and friends are affected by it as well. Dumbledore’s found a new pack, though he says it’s more of a support group. He reckons I’ll have some more luck with them.”

Something Remus said stirred Sirius, as he tore away his gaze from outside and looked straight at Remus.

“Do you believe that?”

“Well if they’re helping each other rather than giving in to it then I don’t think –”

“Not that – that your life’s been ruined because of what you are?”

Remus hesitated, knowing that Sirius wouldn’t like his answer. However, there was no point lying to him - experience had proven that honesty was indeed the best policy.

“Yes.”

“You’re wrong.”

“Am I?” It surprised Remus himself how angry his voice sounded. “I can’t hold down a decent job, I think the longest was a year when I worked for an old couple who ran a bookshop. They were lovely, but the hassle they got from the Ministry eventually got to them – fines, tax rises, and unannounced inspections at any time of day. It was too much. I’ve lived on charity for my entire adult life, first you and James, and then my parents. What I am bled them dry, looking after me and trying to find a cure. And once they died, the rest of my family disowned me, I wasn’t even welcome at my own mother’s funeral.”

“It hasn’t ruined you, though. You’re still you.”

Remus had to work to suppress a laugh. “I’m not seventeen now, Sirius. You can’t say things like that and expect me to think that that’s all that matters.”

“It’s still something.”

“I can’t exactly put it on a CV.”

“Why’s that so important to you now? It didn’t matter before. You couldn’t get a job then, you’d always try again the next day, and the day after, but it was never what everything came back to.”

“For a long time it was the only thing left I still had a chance at.”

Sirius stared at Remus, speechless, for what felt like several days.

“I’m sorry,” he said, eventually.

Remus shook his head. “It’s not your fault.”

“I should have trusted you. I –”

“Stop, Sirius. We’ve had this conversation a million times, and it doesn’t help anything. You can’t keep thinking like that or you’ll go crazy, and that won’t help anyone. The Order needs you, Harry needs you.”

Sirius looked away, nodding slightly as if that was exactly what he had needed to hear.

“What about you?”

Of all the things Sirius could have said, he chose the one that Remus would never have expected to hear. Remus swallowed.

“What about me?” Remus felt his throat constrict, which made it hard to speak. His heart was thumping so loudly in his chest he thought Sirius would be able to hear it. For over a year, Remus had done his best to avoid turns in the conversation like this in an attempt to keep the past in the past. It had worked, or so he hoped it had, until now.

“Do you need me?” Sirius still wasn’t looking at him, giving Remus a chance to think of an answer.

Yes, was the answer. It was so amazingly simple to Remus that he was surprised that Sirius hadn’t guessed. However, even as he thought it, Remus’ heart sank. He had spent the better part of twelve years trying to forget, and in the space of a year Sirius had managed to undo all that work. It was remarkable, really, how one person could do that to you. Twelve years of training yourself to not think of someone, to move on with your life, and after – what? – one, two conversations with them, everything you thought you’d accomplished was destroyed.

But Remus couldn’t just say yes. They had been through far too much for the answer to be that simple. Both of them had been damaged, they had their own issues to work through, and trying to support each other at the same time could lead to disastrous consequences. They weren’t teenagers anymore; their decisions affected other people.

“Sirius.”

He turned his head slightly, barely acknowledging that Remus had spoken.

Sirius.” Remus spoke more harshly and Sirius looked at him in shock, probably surprised that Remus could even think in that tone of voice.

And Remus looked into the gaunt face that held only faint traces of the handsome youth he had fallen in love with. The features had been warped by the years in Azkaban and two years on the run, all except the eyes. Instead of being the stone grey of the rest of his family, Sirius’ eyes had always had a strange burning fire to them, resembling starlight more than stone. It was a subtle difference, and Remus used to wonder whether he was the only one who could see it. Maybe he was. It didn’t matter.

Because, for Remus, it meant that, despite everything, that fire was still there. That his outward appearance was deceiving, and the Sirius that Remus still loved was there. That he wasn’t damaged beyond repair, and, maybe, it could work.

Maybe now there was something else that Remus had a chance at.

“I’ve always needed you.”

The words escaped Remus’ lips before he had a chance to stop them. He watched Sirius’ face for any sort of reaction, but there wasn’t one.

“I wasn’t there when you did need me.”

“I’ve just said not to –”

“I know, just listen to me for a change, okay? You survived when I wasn’t there, how do you know you still need me if you managed without me when you needed someone the most?”

“I survived, I didn’t live.”

Remus waited a moment, allowing his words to sink in. But before Sirius could say anything else, he asked:

“What about you?”

Sirius’ face paled until it looked like he’d just seen Voldemort enter the room. Remus instantly regretted speaking.

“I – I didn’t even survive. I mean, you were always there in my mind, and I knew you’d been innocent, and every day I hoped you’d come and you didn’t. Merlin, Moony, I was a mess. Even if I hadn’t been in that place I don’t think I’d have been able to do anything except curl up in a ball somewhere. It was –”

Sirius had started shaking, and the shakes grew more violent as he spoke, until he could speak no more, his breathing coming out in ragged gasps.

Remus hesitated, then put his arms around Sirius, pulling him into his chest.

They sat like that for a short moment, until Sirius suddenly pushed Remus away. Remus let him go, not wanting to overstep some invisible boundary.

He waited, silently, while Sirius took deep breaths in an attempt to calm himself. Sirius held his head in his hands, hiding his face, but when he finally looked up, Remus could see the tell-tale tear tracks down his cheeks.

Neither one of them spoke. Remus didn’t know what to say – anything he thought of sounded cliché and fake. There was no point in saying that everything was going to be okay, because who knew? He couldn’t make that promise, no one could. They were too old, and had seen too much, to believe that nonsense.

So they sat in silence, inches apart, but those few inches might as well have been miles – light-years – for all Remus cared.

He wondered whether this meant that the conversation had been pointless. If these things were supposed to happen, then they were easy. They had been easy. This wasn’t; this was difficult. This wore Remus down simply by sitting there and thinking about it.

As this thought passed through Remus’ mind, Sirius spoke,

“It never used to be like this, did it? All this silence and not knowing what to say.”

“We’ve changed. We’ve grown up.”

“Speak for yourself.” A ghost of a grin flitted across Sirius’ face. And then, in an obvious attempt to change the topic, Sirius added, “What were you reading?”

Remus grimaced. It wasn’t going to be as much of a change of topic as he would have liked. “I wasn’t reading. I found an old photograph album under the bed.”

“So you were amusing yourself looking at baby pictures of Death Eaters?”

“No, it must have been yours. I don’t know how it ended up in here. It had old school photos in it.”

“Let’s have a look.”

Remus didn’t think it was a good idea, but he picked up the photo album he had placed beside him and handed it over to Sirius. Sirius carefully turned over the front cover, and stared at the first picture, at the four laughing faces looking up at him. Slowly, he raised one finger and traced the outline of Remus in the picture.

Sirius turned page after page, taking in each photograph, occasionally making an observation to Remus, who “hmm-ed” in response, but kept quiet for the most part.

When Sirius reached the last photograph, he closed the album, but didn’t give it back to Remus.

“I must have left it here by accident, when I ran away,” Sirius said, though the way he murmured it, almost inaudible, made it seem more like he was thinking out loud than actually talking to Remus. As a result, Remus didn’t say anything; he didn’t need to, Sirius continued anyway, “I’m surprised they didn’t just burn it, they were probably hoping I’d come back to get it and they’d be able to kill me on the spot. Leaving here was the best decision I ever made, might be the only good decision I ever made.”

“That’s not what you used to say.” Remus stared straight ahead. He knew that Sirius would know what he meant – now that they had touched on the subject Remus’ mind was full of hazy memories of long summer days and warm winter nights in front of a small fireplace. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sirius turn to look at him.

“No… but look at where that’s got us.”

“So before, when you were saying you couldn’t survive without me – that was what exactly? If you regret everything from back then, why were we having that conversation? You’re giving off mixed signals and I can’t sit around not knowing which mood you’re going to be in.”

“I didn’t mean it like that.”

“Then how did you mean it?”

“I don’t –”

Remus didn’t think he could sit and listen anymore. He stood up, and started making his way to the other side of the room, so he could continue packing. He got maybe halfway to the wardrobe when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

Remus spun round, intending to shake off Sirius’ hand and vent the anger that was bubbling up in him.

But Sirius acted before Remus could. His lips crashed against Remus’, and Remus froze in shock.

And then Remus reacted, falling into the familiarity of the kiss, though this was different. This was the kiss of a desperate man, one who had lost everything and was clinging to something, anything, to keep him sane. But that didn’t seem to bother Remus right now, because he was the same. He may put on a better show than Sirius, but he had spent far too long not having anything to hold onto, too.

Sirius’ arm wound around Remus’ waist, pulling them closer. Remus’ hand found the nape of Sirius’ neck, and formed a fist around the hair there, forcing his head closer to his own.

They eventually parted, breathing heavily, foreheads resting against each other. Remus kept his eyes closed; if he did that, and never opened them, then he could pretend that this moment would last forever and there’d be no need for any further talk, or explanations.

And everything would be okay.
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  #6  
Old February 29th, 2012, 4:15 pm
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gelowo93  Female.gif gelowo93 is offline
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Re: gelowo93's one shots

Stray Thought

It was nearing one o’clock in the morning, meaning that, on a normal night, the Gryffindor common room would be empty, and sneaking across and out the Fat Lady’s portrait would be a breeze. However, this week was O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. week, and, most nights, the common room hadn’t emptied of studious fifth and seventh years until nearly two in the morning. With Prefects and the Head Boy staying up until the early hours of the morning, it had been difficult for Victoire Weasley to sneak out at night. Of course, she had been revising hard for her own O.W.L.s as well, but her life didn’t revolve around her schoolwork. No, like many sixteen year old girls, boys were often at the forefront of Victoire’s mind, and sneaking out to meet them at the top of the Astronomy tower added the thrill that the possibility of getting caught created.

She was stood at the bottom of the staircase to the girl’s dormitories now, staying in the shadows just in case someone was still awake. She didn’t think there was though; the only noise was the crackling of the dying fire, which sounded alien without the accompanying scratching of quills and incantations murmured under the breaths of students trying to memorise them that Victoire had grown used to. The candles had long since burnt out and the room was illuminated only by the feeble light of the fire and a strip of moonlight that had managed to permeate the clouds for the moment.

Victoire stepped out of the shadows slowly and silently, just in case she had been wrong and there was someone still awake, or had fallen asleep in their chair. She tip-toed across the common room, making as little noise as possible and longing for Uncle Harry’s Invisibility Cloak; it would make sneaking around the castle so much easier. She needn’t have the Cloak though, Victoire would be grateful to have the Map that she knew Teddy kept locked in his trunk in his dormitory, but it was too risky sneaking into the seventh year boy’s dorm. Victoire would have to do without, and it wasn’t like these items were necessary – she had been walking around the castle after dark for five years without them.

She was almost at the portrait hole when, in the near darkness, Victoire stepped on something squishy that she hadn’t spotted. There was a loud screech followed by the sound of a cat moving to a safer spot. Victoire cursed herself as she recognised the bright yellow eyes of Maurice, Dominique’s cat. The cat hissed at Victoire, who hissed back, until a light appeared behind her.

Spinning round, Victoire was blinded by the dazzling light coming from the wand tip. Her heart sank at being caught trying to sneak out, something that she had managed to avoid before now, but still she hoped that it would be some student she had woken up, and not…

“Vicky? What are you doing?” came a familiar voice from one of the high backed chairs that faced towards the portrait hole and away from the staircases to the dormitories. Victoire had to blink a few times before her eyes adjusted to the sudden light and she saw Teddy Lupin looking blearily up at her. His hair was his favourite shade of turquoise and was short enough so that his fringe didn’t block his vision. The rest of him seemed to be un-metamorphmagised; brown eyes stood out on his thin face with sharp cheekbones.

Damn, Victoire thought, her stomach plummeting, though at the same time, her heart seemed to skip a beat. She should have known to check those chairs; whenever Teddy stayed up late studying he sat there – probably because it was hard to tell if anyone was sat in them from behind. Teddy took his Head Boy duties seriously.

Victoire scowled. “You know I hate people calling me Vicky.”

“That’s why I use it,” laughed Teddy. “What are you doing up? Don’t make me give you a detention.”

“I’m not doing anything,” Victoire said as innocently as she could, batting her eyelashes and smiling sweetly.

“You can’t use your Veela charm on me, Vic.” Teddy glanced away, breaking eye contact with her and focusing instead on the textbook on the table in front of him.

“It’s worth a try. How come you’re still down here?” Victoire walked towards the table Teddy was sat at and joining him, sitting down on a chair beside him. She could feel Maurice’s eyes on her as she turned her back and knew that the cat, that wasn’t particularly fond of her anyway, was probably plotting some form of kitty-revenge.

“Fell asleep while I was studying, then that cat woke me up. What did you do to it?”

“I might have stood on it – by accident!” added Victoire at Teddy’s horrified look. “I don’t hate Maurice that much.”

“Ah, I didn’t know it was him. Shame, I swear he hates me and I’ve never done anything to him.”

“It’s a demon cat.”

“Don’t let Dominique hear you calling him that.”

“I won’t. I can defend myself against her anyway.”

“That’s probably true.” Victoire watched as Teddy’s eyes scanned the textbook and turned the page over. Before Victoire had a chance to read the title on the next page, Teddy had slammed the book shut, making her jump slightly.

“Sorry.” Teddy grinned sheepishly. “I’ve got fed up of revising.”

“That wasn’t being fed up of revising; it was more like the book had personally offended you.” Victoire was slightly shocked that Teddy could get that angry at a book, normally he treated them like one would treat their first born son. Grimacing slightly, Teddy opened the book again at the page he had been on, allowing Victoire the chance to see the chapter title.

Werewolves. Now Victoire understood why his mood had switched so suddenly. She quickly scanned the first page; it wasn’t just how to recognise them like she had had to learn, but methods on how to subdue them and discussion on whether they deserve the same rights as humans, with only the tiniest paragraph at the bottom on the Wolfsbane potion.

Even after the pro-werewolf laws that the Ministry had passed since Voldemort’s downfall, they were still a contentious topic and sometimes Victoire got roped into discussions on the politics – after all, almost her entire family were in support of the werewolves. She had become interested in it herself after finding out that her father had been attacked by a werewolf, and Teddy’s father had been one.

Victoire knew that Teddy was occasionally discriminated against because of his father. Sometime when the campaigns for werewolf rights were in full swing after the second war, it had become publicly known that Teddy was half-werewolf and, while it helped in the argument for the pro-werewolf laws (as it was obvious that he didn’t exhibit any werewolf qualities), people’s opinions were difficult to change and, as a result, he often got given a wide berth in the street.

Knowing that the topic upset Teddy – though he’d never admit it - Victoire thought it best to steer the conversation away from it:

“When’s your last exam?”

Teddy glanced at his watch. “Technically, tomorrow. I’ve got Defence Against the Dark Arts theory this afternoon and the practical tomorrow.” It was hard to tell in the dim common room, but Victoire thought that Teddy’s face had gone pale.

“That’s OK, isn’t it? You’re good at Defence, and isn’t Uncle Harry going to be at the practical session this year?”

Ever since he had become head of the Auror department, Uncle Harry had taken to presiding over the N.E.W.T. Defence Against the Dark Arts practical exam if he wasn’t too busy. He normally did it under the excuse that he was assessing students who had expressed an interest in joining the Auror force, but Victoire knew that he would have found time to do it this year whether any seventh years wanted to be an Auror or not.

“That’s why I’m worried about it; he’ll be expecting me to get full marks or something and I don’t think I’m that good.”

Teddy spoke casually about his worry, but he was avoiding looking at Victoire now and she could tell that it was bothering him more than he let on.

“You’ll be fine. And if you don’t think it’s going well you can always do a Patronus Charm.”

“The examiners will probably be wondering where I learnt how to do one instead of being impressed by it.”

“It’s not even taught here, how could they not be impressed by it?”

Teddy smiled, but said nothing.

Victoire leaned her head against the back of the chair. Her eyelids were beginning to droop and she let them. The stresses of the last week were catching up with her, and she felt like she could quite happily fall asleep in the chair. It was comfortable sitting beside the still glowing fire, with Teddy beside her. Through her eyelashes, Victoire watched as Teddy looked down at his book again, playing with his quill in one hand. Her stomach squirmed as she watched and she wondered how it would feel to have Teddy’s arms around her…

That last thought jerked Victoire’s mind, which had become slightly fuzzy, back into gear. She didn’t think of Teddy like that, they were friends, they had always been friends – well, apart from when they were children and they’d fight and think the other had cooties. Being the oldest of the Weasley-Potter children (Teddy was considered by everyone to be an honorary Potter) they had stuck together a lot, especially as for a long time he had been the only person of a similar age apart from her siblings that she knew. She had never thought of him like that.

“Weren’t you going somewhere?” Teddy’s voice interrupted Victoire’s thoughts.

“Hmm?”

“You were sneaking out before. Where were you going?”

“Oh, just, erm,” Victoire was suddenly embarrassed to admit to him where she had been going. She stole a glance at Teddy’s watch and was surprised to see that she was supposed to have been at the Astronomy Tower half an hour ago. Joel probably would have given up and left by now.

“Meeting another boyfriend?” Teddy teased. “You’ll have to hurry up if you want to still catch him.”

“He’ll have gone by now. It doesn’t matter, I didn’t like him that much anyway.”

“What are you going to do when you’ve broken the hearts of all the boys in your year?”

Victoire snorted. “All of the boys in my year are idiots. They move onto the next girl before they’ve stopped to wipe the lipstick off their face. And I suppose I’d have to start on the year above.”

“Thank Merlin I’m leaving then.”

“You’re two years above, you’d be safe anyway.” Victoire stuck her tongue out at Teddy.

“Better safe than sorry,” grinned Teddy and he looked back down at his textbook, as if he was feebly attempting to carry on studying.

There was silence for a moment, while Victoire watched as Teddy’s eyes darted across the page in front of him.

“It’ll be weird without you here,” Victoire said, finally. “You’ve always been here.”

“You’ll get used to it.” Teddy didn’t look up from the book. “I haven’t always been here, only for seven years.”

“You’ve always been here when I was here, then. There’s no need to be so specific.”

Teddy’s lips tugged upwards in a half smile, but his eyes stayed on the book. Victoire watched him as he read, she could see the reflection of the glowing fire in his eyes and his hair was gradually turning a darker shade of blue, until it was brown. Teddy yawned.

“I give up.” Teddy closed his book. “If I don’t know it now then I never will.”

“I could test you on it,” offered Victoire.

“No, it’s ok. I’m going to bed.” He looked at Victoire as he packed up his textbooks and stood up, attempting a stern look and failing miserably; Victoire couldn’t take Teddy seriously whenever he acted like a Head Boy. She laughed.

“What?” Teddy asked.

“Nothing. You know I can’t take you seriously when you do that look.”

“Ah well, I’ve only got another month of failing at being Head Boy,” said Teddy as Victoire stood up and they made their way together to the staircases that led up to the dormitories.

“You’re not that bad, really.”

“Thanks.”

“No problem. Goodnight,” Victoire said, stepping onto the staircase.

“‘Night.”
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