Disclaimer: Nothing is mine.
I collapse on my bed like a battalion, except I'm not a large army of soldiers, but a mere werewolf with the inability to communicate with others at times - but do have the ability to communicate with books which are the only saviour in my life, yet they don't respond but merely mock me from the dusty bookshelf.
My bed makes a sort of lurch and I wonder if I've gained weight or the bed is trying to communicate with me because of my failed conveyance with the books. I pull off the tattered shirt I'm wearing but somehow the material gets caught as I tug it over my head and I'm struggling like a mad man as a piece of clothing is trying to suffocate me.
Before I know it, I'm off the bed and my head is hammered into the floor.
Thank Merlin no one witnessed that.
I stumble to my feet, my arms outstretched in the shirt which threatens my life (which was my favourite until it decided to smother me and will be burned once I get my gangly fingers on it). I try to muster my dignity and pull the bloody thing off, though my apartment is empty, but who knows who will apparate or floo their way into my dilapidated flat and interrupt my privacy of embarrassing doings of nothingness. Unexpected visits have included Mad-eye appearing while I was showering and singing grotesquely out of tune to a song by The Beatles. Or another particular favourite memory where I was going through my sock drawer, reorganizing them into order of colour - when suddenly Tonks appeared in front of me and I jumped at least ten feet in the air. And to add more humiliation at her sudden arrival, my uncontrollable hands threw the bundle of socks that were clutched to my chest into the air and landing in all directions.
I particularly remembered one bopping on my head.
Tonks laughed hard, so I joined in because I didn't want to look mad (though my sock colour rearranging might have made her already assume that I was) and I didn't want her to think I wasn't a humorous person. However, my forced laughter was too much overdone, so much I made a raspy cough and had to excuse myself for a drink. When I came back out of the kitchen, Tonks was gone and the socks were missing from the floor.
At first I thought she was a sock thief.
Then, on a secondary thought, I thought someone had kidnapped Tonks and the socks.
Then, on a third and finally logical thought, I mooched my way towards the sock drawer of my dresser.
Every sock was placed delicately in the appropriate colour arrangement.
How long had I been in the kitchen for a drink, I do not know. I searched for any sign of Tonks but all I spotted was a piece of parchment on my desk telling me the time of the Order's next meeting. Why she couldn't have sent it by Owl post was beyond me.
But back to my wrestling with the Shirt of Doom. Trying to block my cemented thoughts of Tonks, I carry on battling with the clothing but only end up staggering into some sort of furniture, which then causes a variety of distressing noises of clunks, thumps and clanks as objects fall. My arms flail about and I end up knocking something off a table and I'm surrounded by darkness.
I assume I just knocked over my desk lamp or I've suddenly gone blind.
"Sodding shirts," I announce to my empty flat.
I finally manage to unglue the shirt that was caught on my head and fling it across the room, where it lands into something else and crashes. I may not have many possessions after this experience.
As I stare in the darkness, wondering where one wall of my flat starts and the other begins, I make a sudden sigh of relief. There are times like these where you're surrounded in the pitch black because you knocked over a lamp whilst fighting with possessive shirts, that you thank Merlin you have Muggle lights which switch on at the sound of a clap.
This particular clapping lights mechanism was not my idea. In fact, it was a shopping trip with Sirius that made me buy it because he whined on and on like an aggravating child how 'cool' it would be if I got 'happy-clappy' lights in my apartment. He said it would make me feel young and it was 'all the rage', and that 'birds' would 'dig' it.
I clap my hands.
No light comes on.
I wish I could scold him now for buying that stupid light, but he's not here and I have to stop thinking about him before I start going into Remus Lupin depression of frowning and definite downwards curving of the mouth.
I clap my hands again and more nullity happens.
I consider collapsing to the floor, again like a failing battalion, curling up in the darkness and going into a never ending sleep, but I've got another Order meeting tomorrow. I swear, if I didn't have the Order I'd 'snuff it'.
There's Harry to think about, too
"Lumos," I mutter. I spot the light that illuminates from my wand on my desk and pick it up, flicking it to make the ceiling light switch on. Once the room is lit, I discover my flat in complete shambles. If that's what I get for stripping off one piece of clothing, then from now on I will always remain adequately attired.
I subside back on to my bed and, again, it makes a lurch. I glance down at my chest –still thin and scraggy with the odd scratch and bruise that's compulsory for being a werewolf- which means I haven't gained weight, the bed was not trying to communicate with me, and it was merely the mattress squeaking.
Sirius tried to convince me that 'birds' would find my scars sexy. Sure, women do, if 'sexy' means gasping in horror and running away as fast as possible, mumbling excuses about 'feeding the gnomes'. And 'women' meaning a witch I met in my early twenties after drowning my sorrows in Butterbeer in the Hog's Head, forced to walk her home because Mad-eye said I 'needed one' and threatened to castrate me.
I finally close my eyes, forcing myself to sleep or I will end up with black eyes at the Order meeting, and everyone will ask me if I've been a muggle fight or Tonks will recommend putting cucumber slices on my eyes to make the shadows fade. I tried this particular technique using the leftover cucumbers of a salad dinner, but somehow my eyes started violently stinging the second the cucumber slice touched my cornea, and the tinge of salad dressing that had somehow got on there didn't help with the irritation.
The second my eyelids shut, I'm in another world.
"Remus-bloody-Lupin, what the hell do you think you're doing?"
And, oddly enough, Sirius Black is before me.
"What do you think you're doing? You're supposed to be dead!" I point at him to add more mortified confusion.
"This is a dream, my delusional partisan."
Ah, that would make sense. That would explain the reason why Sirius Black is floating in the clouds of smog, and also why I'm floating.
"I'm floating," I squeak.
"Good observation," Sirius rolls his eyes, "Honestly, Moony. Wisdom normally comes with age but it seems to be having the opposite affect on you."
Great, even Sirius mocks me from my dreams. Or shall I say: nightmares.
"So, is this a dream where there is a lesson to be learnt? Or this is a dream where we fly against the forces of gravity, visiting people who would apparently live horrific lives if it weren't for my mere existence?"
Sirius raises an eyebrow in response. "I'm tempted by the latter. You could be Mr. Scrooge and I could be the Ghost of Christmas Spirit!"
"I see death has not lessened your vigour," I tell him, blinded by his odd glowing.
"I'm an angel now," Sirius grins, "I can send the all mighty God on you. If anyone annoys me, God can kick their arse." His head tilts up, eyes widening as if he's listening to a private bulletin from God in his head. "I'm sorry for the bad language, oh mighty Holy one. And I will not use your unseen yet greatly powerful presence as a weapon to kick rears."
This is just...too odd.
"You cannot be an angel, Sirius."
He makes a noise of disappointment at my lack of believing, turns around, and suddenly, a gospel choir sings angelically, as these large –yet rather attractive— wings erupt from his back.
"Ta-da!" He sings, in a very corny fashion. Suddenly, a spot light from nowhere shines down on him and he lights up, even a halo appears hovering over his head.
I want to wake up. Now.
"You haven't even asked about my journey to heaven, Remus!" He brushes off his wings and somehow glitter comes off and drifts in the air, getting stuck in my hair. "I am disgusted at your rudeness."
"Well," Sirius unhooks the hovering halo and starts spinning it round his finger to amuse his fidgeting hands, "I saw this long, long white corridor. And at the end there was this blinding light and I could here these women's voices saying 'Come towards the light! Come towards the light!'" He pauses for a dramatic effect and I wonder if I'm suppose to comment on that, but luckily he starts talking again. "And at first I thought 'Screw it' because it was really long way away. Sorry God," he immediately apologizes for his diction, "But I eventually went because I was hungry and the heavenly voices promised me Philadelphia."
"The cheese spread?"
Sirius nods his head eagerly. "That's some good shit." He winces, "Sorry!"
"Okay…So if it's not my other dream suggestions, is this a dream with incidental, illogical happenings, such as a giant rabbit appearing from nowhere which tries to kill me?"
Sirius makes a face of pity at me. "Oh Moony, you're not still having that dream are you? I haven't heard about it since second year at Hogwarts where you woke up screaming and I had to comfort you whilst you sobbed on my shoulder."
"I did not sob!" I fold my arms immaturely. "I whimpered. There is a difference." I glare as Sirius starts to chuckle at me. "I am so waking up now," I tell him, blinking my eyes.
Sirius watches as I continuously shut and open my eyelids, expecting to awaken from this dream anytime now. I blink so much and so forcefully that they start to water and I'm making a fool of myself in front of one of my diseased best friends who is now an angel and uses his halo as a Frisbee.
"I really don't know why we have these things," Sirius spins the halo around his finger and it accidentally flings off into the clouds. I worry if the halo has disappeared and whether he will be able to get it back, but he lifts an arm into the air and the halo zooms back in his hand as if it is magnetic. "You know, I asked God once at dinner what they were for. He never really answered me straight. Bit like a politician."
I flounder. "You had dinner...with God?"
That's probably one of the highest celebrities you could eat a meal with.
"He said the halo resembled light and purity," he trails off, "something like that."
"What did he eat?" I blurt out curiously, and can't believe I'm having this conversation.
"Spaghetti Bolognese," he lowers his voice to a whisper, "His table manners aren't so impressive, spaghetti over the chin and everything."
"What does he look like?" I ask, and literally smack myself for getting so involved in this dialogue when I should be waking up.
"You know, like an older Jesus. Beard like Dumbledore's, pure white robes. Oh, you should have seen him at the Halloween party!" He suddenly interrupts into laughter, clutching his stomach while he wheezes. "When God dressed up as The Devil! Haha! He looked great in red you know, such a classic!"
I seriously. Want to wake up. Now.
"I should make this quick," Sirius glances at his hand where these is a nonexistent watch, "I've got a spa appointment at three."
He doesn't elaborate and stretches boldly. "Anyway, I just wanted to talk about you being a miserable sod."
By now, I'm purely bemused.
"Remus, I see old age has not only crippled your bones but crippled your mind too!"
I frown at him. "If you're trying to give me advice, I just want to let you know what you're guidance is lowering my already low self esteem."
Sirius groans, "Look, I'm going to be straight with you."
"What exactly is this about?" I press.
"You and Tonks."
No...No no no. I am not having this conversation. I go back to my blinking eyes method but I still haven't awakened. Every time I open my eyes, Sirius is still there with his clarity and luminosity, fluttering his wings and playing with his halo.
"When are you and her going to get it on?"
I redden. "Must you be so blunt about it? Honestly, why can't you be the overprotective distant relative who threatens to remove my limbs if I even touch her?"
"Because I'm an angel," Sirius waves at his demeanour, "And you're a good guy, Moony. You would never break her heart—though you continuously do it when you turn her away. That girl is hooked on you, like...like flies on dog turd!"
I glower. "Are you calling me dog excrement?"
"Okay, bad example…Just tell me," he puts his hands behind his head, "Why do you say no to her, Mr. Scrooge?"
"Too old!" Sirius cuts in a whiny voice. "Too poor, too daaaaangerous!" He shakes his head. "Stop with the sodding boring loopholes!"
I make a sound of indignation. "They are not loopholes!"
Sirius scoffs. "Moony, I created loopholes! I know one when I see it, and I can see three of them right there."
I find myself giving in. I can't help but feel Sirius is right. They are sort of loop holes out of being in a relationship with her.
"You and Tonks are supposed to be together. You're soul mates."
I laugh at this. The whole 'soul mates' theory is some sort of false fabrication made up by lonely celibates who yearn there to be one partner out there in the world for them, when really there isn't and they're going to die alone.
"Seriously, she is," he carries on, "I read the Book of Soul Mates."
"Book of soul mates?" I query.
"Yeah, I nicked it out of God's library."
I find myself gawking. "You stole from God! Are you insane?"
Sirius laughs at my fear. "Don't worry; he's got a soft spot for me. Anyway, in the Book of Soul Mates, one name links to other name—like James and Lily for instance—and yours links to Tonks."
I find myself amazed by this book and wish I could wander around in God's library myself.
"Look Moony, I'm just saying that once you've found someone you connect with," he pauses, and for a second I think he's going to say something with an ounce of grace and depth, "you should get it on with them!" I roll my eyes. "Because if you don't do it quickly, it'll be too late."
Somehow those last words touch me.
"Look at me for example. I never got to declare my love for Minerva and now it's too late!"
I stop him before he goes on about his theory that Minerva Mcgonagall has fancied him since his first year at Hogwarts and only gave him detention to be alone with him and 'have her wicked way with him'.
I cut back to what he called me earlier. "Hey, you called me Mr. Scrooge!"
Sirius smiles, "That's my new nickname for you until you lighten up. Now, I want you to wake up, go find Tonks and snog her senseless! Do you understand me? No objections!"
"Sirius, you can't tell me what to do."
He scoffs again. "Of course I can! I'm your guardian angel! That's right; guardian," he emphasises. "That basically means I protect you and boss you around! You do what I say!" He pokes me in the chest. "Now, you go back to the Earth and stick your tongue down her throat!"
I squirm at his choice of words. "You sound like my mother...Except she didn't recommend canoodling."
Sirius brightens at the mention of my mother. "I met her. She's a nice woman, makes lovely strawberry cheesecakes. I must have a chat with her later."
"Talk to her later?" I sputter. "You mean she's here?"
"Oh yeah," Sirius mentions, with tone of casualness. "James, Lily, Elvis, the whole gang! I had dinner with him once too. Elvis, I mean."
I try to push aside the mention of Sirius dining with more dead famous people. "James and Lily are here too?" I smile.
"Yeah, they send apologizes for not coming. They're a bit busy, probably in the Love Shack. Thin walls, Moony, thin walls."
The mention of everyone being there without me makes me slump my shoulders. "I wish I could be here with you guys. Knowing my inner werewolf, I'll probably be sent straight down to hell."
Sirius pats me on the back. "No way! Hey, if I can charm my way up here, you can most definitely get in." I somehow find myself feeling as if he's talking about heaven as some sort of nightclub. "Besides, your needed down there." Sirius points to the ground which I assume is an indication to Earth. "You know, help fight the Death Eaters and keep an eye on Harry."
"Right," I nod my head.
"Satan is so arrogant," Sirius drabbles on.
"Let me guess, you had dinner with The Devil too?"
"No, I just bumped into him," he says vaguely, "He's quite attractive if you get past the horns and the tail. Bit sleazy though."
"Maybe I should wake up now," I suggest.
"Oh yeah, Gabrielle shall be wondering where I am."
I look at him blankly at the lady's name, but say nothing. I go back to blinking to get out of this dream but Sirius rolls his eyes and says, "That never works. Better use the door."
I frown at the mention of a door and he spins me around. Out of nowhere, a door appears with the sign 'EXIT' on it. I figure this is the way out.
I turn to pull the handle but Sirius stops me. "Now, what are you going to do when you wake up?"
I sigh, "I'm going to wake up. Find Tonks...then..."
Sirius grins, "Then?"
"Snog her..." I mumble embarrassingly.
"You're such a prude, Moony," he teases, then suddenly pulls the door open for me and I'm met with a long drop of complete emptiness.
"Er, are you sure this is the exit?" I ask, clinging to the door frame.
"Do not doubt my judgment, adherent," Sirius says.
"Of course." I glance down at the pit of darkness. "Oh, before I go; the clapping lights don't work."
"Well I told you not to buy it in the first place, didn't I? It's so tacky."
"What? No you—" I start, but Sirius suddenly pushes me with an audible, "Ta-ta!"
I scream as I'm suddenly aware I'm falling into darkness. And before I know it, I wake up in my own bed, clutching the old mattress whilst panting like I've run a marathon - not like I've just had the oddest dream in my entire life involving angels, God and many, many clouds.
I replay the dream back in my head and I find myself remembering every single thing that happened, from the fact that there is a spa in heaven, to the possibility of angels dressing up for Halloween and throwing a party. Unlike in other dreams, the memory has been hazy. But I remember every single detail. It unnerves me.
I suddenly bolt to my feet, switching the light on. I don't know whether it was dream or not, thought it's highly likely that it most certainly was, but I can't help but feel that I need to act on Sirius' words.
I'm going to finally stop using my loopholes and tell Tonks I like her.
No, you're not.
Yes I am.
No, you're not.
Yes I am.
No, you're not.
Oh, shut up, brain! I won't listen to anything you've got to say anymore!
Decide after a cup of tea.
Ten minutes later, I'm sitting on my tattered couch and finishing the last few sips of my tea.
Damn my stupid brain. I shall never win against it.
I stand again and get ready to go see Tonks. I don't bother to put on a shirt and grab my robe and put that on instead. I check I'm wearing trousers before I suddenly go outside to apparate wearing just underwear. I'm all ready, set, go!
I'm going to finally stop using my loopholes and tell Tonks I like her.
No, you're not.
Yes I am.
No, you're not.
Yes I am.
No, you're not.
Oh, for Merlin's sake! Shut up, brain! I'm not listening to you anymore!
Just have another cuppa.
Again, another ten minutes later I am sitting in the familiar spot of the couch, finishing the last drops of my tea. I slam the mug down. Now, I'm finally ready to go! No more bloody tea!
Are you sure? Just one more!
I stand up again, grab my wand and shoes and march into the hallway. I fling the door open, ready to apparate outside.
Tonks is standing outside the door.
I slam the door shut.
I press my back against the door and I'm hyperventilating.
What is she doing here? Outside my door! Don't panic. Don't panic.
"Remus?" I hear Tonks call. "Why'd you shut the door on me?"
Oh bugger. I can't even hide from her because she knows I'm here. But why would I hide from her anyway? I was going to go see her! What are you, Remus Lupin: a man or a mouse?
Suddenly something pokes me in the backside and I fling forward in terror. I turn around and realise the thing that felt me up was the mail flap at my door (which I don't use anyway because of Owl Post). I see Tonks' eyes peeking through the gap as she pushes it open with her fingers.
I find myself sliding against the wall and try to blend in with the background, hoping she doesn't notice me. I think of shouting 'Remus isn't here right now', but that would make no sense because who's voice would mine apparently belong to?
"I can hear your chest heaving, Remus." I instantly pale. "Not to mention you just slammed door in my face."
I cringe, finally making my appearance of trying to disintegrate into the walls and cautiously walk to the door and open it. I try and remain calm as I see Tonks smiling mischievously at me, her vibrant pink hair flicked out at the ends as if it will suddenly take flight, and a fuchsia coloured robe covering what looks to be a jeans dungaree.
"Why didn't you just apparate inside?" I ask her confusedly.
She leans on the door frame. "I didn't want to burst in and interrupt your sock rearranging," she teases.
I raise my eyebrows. "I can't help but feel that you've done sock colour rearranging before since you did such a good job on my sock draw."
She grins, shrugging, then suddenly eyes me up and down. "Remus, it isn't the middle of summer, y'know. You'll catch pneumonia," she looks at me disapprovingly, pointing at my bare chest.
I redden, wrapping my robe tighter around me. "I was in a hurry on my way out," I immediately curse when I mention this.
"Why were you on your way out?"
To see you.
"Shopping," I fib, hoping my skills in dishonesty have improved since my Hogwarts years. Obviously she looks unconvinced.
"Shopping? It's past midnight."
"I enjoy shopping late," I continue to lie.
Tonks looks at me with amusement. "What were you going to buy on this...'late shopping trip'?"
I say the first thing that comes to mind.
Oh bugger it. That dessert has been on my mind ever since Sirius brought up my mother making them.
Tonks purses her lips. "You're not one of those pregnant women, who have strange cravings in the middle of the night for weird food, are you?"
Well, last time I checked I wasn't a woman. Nor was I pregnant.
"Yes," I grit through my teeth, "I am a pregnant women with strange cravings for strawberry cheesecake."
She simply nods her head. "So...can I join you?"
I'm taken aback.
"Join me where?" I say hesitantly.
She rolls her eyes. "You're not your usual intelligent self at this time of the day, eh? To join you on your late shopping trip for cheesecake."
This is ludicrous! How long am I going to keep this cheesecake escapade going for?
Apparently a little longer.
Half an hour later, Tonks and I are sitting on the famous tatty couch of my apartment, both munching on strawberry cheesecake after buying some in the local Muggle corner shop.
I'm starting to like the strawberry cheesecake idea because the second it enters my stomach, I feel much more relaxed and in a sort of tranquil mood. I take another slice of the cake from the table and Tonks laughs. Our feet nudge against each other as they perch on the coffee table which is currently used as a foot rest.
"You certainly like your tea, don't you?" Tonks says, eyeing the many mugs around the room.
I say weakly, "I have my cravings."
"You certainly do," she agrees, spooning another big slice of cheesecake into her mouth.
"So," I try to speak with a wad of food in my mouth, "Why did you come here anyway?"
"Just to tell you that the time of the next meeting has been changed." I watch her lick her spoon slowly in such a seductive way that I beg my face not to heat up.
"You have heard of owls, haven't you?"
Tonks fakes affront. "Ha ha, Remus, I just wanted to see how you were. You know: chat. It's called socializing. You should try it sometime."
She has cream on her nose. Cream on her nose. I watch as she sticks out her tongue and licks it off with one flick. It's quite an art.
She spots me gazing at her. "Neat party trick, eh?" She smirks, and then takes another gobble of cheesecake.
I can't take it anymore and I pounce on her. Yes, Remus Lupin Pouncing is a rare thing.
I just keep hearing the Sirius from my dream ringing in my head, saying she's my soul mate and when I find that special someone I should do something about it before it's too late. I've wasted enough of my life depressed about being too old, poor and dangerous. This girl in front of me is all I've ever wanted; pink hair, jean dungarees and a supple tongue.
I press my lips against hers and kiss her.
Her mouth is full of cheesecake.
I kissed her when her mouth was full of cheesecake.
I am such an idiot.
Though the kiss is really, really good.
But I kissed her when she was trying to eat!
Oh God, I am such an idiot.
I pull away for air and watch wide eyes of complete astonishment. At least she was surprised. People like surprises, don't they?
I have a mound of cheesecake in my mouth, which was probably in her mouth at one point, and swallow it.
I am such an idiot.
"Wow," she breathes, licking her lips.
I blush furiously at my antics and grab another plate of cheesecake, stuffing a spoonful into my gob to look as if I'm doing something.
I can't believe I just did that. She must think I'm mentally unstable.
I'm waiting for her to leave the apartment, declaring what a loony I am, but half way through chewing a bit of cheesecake she grabs me by the back of the neck and kisses me hard.
My mouth is full of cheesecake.
She kissed me when my mouth was full of cheesecake.
So, if I kissed her when she was eating, and she kissed me when I was eating, she must think it's normal. Or we're both idiots.
The kiss is really...really good.
We finally break apart and she gulps down the cheesecake that must have been in my mouth. She licks her lips tastefully and says, "Took you long enough," leaning comfortably into my chest.
"Mfjdfhkvbg," I mumble unrecognisably, still in a daze from the kiss.
She lifts her head and flicks a finger at my hair, eyebrows narrowing.
"You have glitter in your tresses," she states.
My eyes widen, trying to look up at my hair to spot the sparkles that came from Sirius' wings; the Sirius that was in my dream. I stare back down at Tonks who's looking at me for some sort of an explanation, probably thinking I'm a transvestite.
"Er…Sirius. Angel. God. Halo. Wings. Glitter. Elvis. Satan…" I list, not able to form a complete sentence. My mouth is slightly open without my consent.
She looks at me blankly, and then picks up another plate of dessert. "Cheesecake?"
"Cheesecake," I say, and then stuff another spoonful of it in my mouth, hoping she'll kiss me when I'm half way through eating it.