On a Saturday morning in mid-February, just past ten o'clock, the fireplace in the Hogwarts kitchens lit up with bright green flames and one by one, nine wizards stumbled out looking a bit blurry-eyed but otherwise perfectly undamaged. The house-elves had been informed that these wizards would be arriving and why—a few of the females dabbed at their eyes with their tea-towel-togas, while the males led the wizards out of the kitchens and down a corridor to the room they would use to prepare for the day.
"If Masters need anything, anything at all, Masters will call," one of the elder house-elves said rather sternly. "We is at Masters' service today."
"Thank you," Remus said a bit hoarsely, managing to smile at the house-elves as they bowed themselves out of the room and went back to the kitchen.
Sirius yawned widely and loudly, and looked around. The room looked like normal Hogwarts guest quarters without the beds—instead, there were added armchairs and sofas. A rack of dress robes had been delivered to the school by Madam Malkin and her cousin in Hogsmeade, and now stood next to the window. Remus and his groomsmen found their robes while the Weasley boys picked theirs off a second rack. Unbeknownst to the Weasleys, Sirius and Remus had bought them the robes they would be wearing that day—they'd thought the robes had been loaned to them by the two best friends, and hadn't yet realized that the robes would fit each of them perfectly.
It only took the wizards forty-five minutes to get dressed and groomed. Remus looked at his watch, noting with not a small amount of annoyance that they still had an hour and fifteen minutes until the ceremony began. His stomach felt like he'd eaten a bowl of flobberworms for breakfast and they were all trying to escape. He looked at the door, knowing that just down the corridor, Emmeline, who'd probably been in the castle for hours now, was getting ready as well. Sirius had taken it upon himself, the great git he was, to place a charm around the door so that Remus, and only Remus, couldn't get out and start wandering around. He was starting to dislike both Molly Weasley and her crazy wedding superstitions. It wasn't as though he wanted to steal Emmeline away from the wedding; he just wanted to see her for a few minutes, to see if she was as nervous and excited as he was.
"Do you want me to go check on her?" the best man asked quietly.
Remus turned to find Sirius' eyes filled with amusement and his lips twitching. He nodded. "Please?" he asked hoarsely.
Sirius chuckled and shook his head, patting Remus on the shoulder. "I'll be back then. Can I get you anything? A barf bucket or something?"
"No, I'm fine."
"You're definitely not fine, but you will be." Sirius winked and ducked out the door, leaving Remus wonder how he'd been both cursed and blessed with a best friend like Sirius Black.
Not too far down the corridor, Emmeline, Molly, Naomi, Ginny, Hermione, and Tonks still wore bathrobes while they did their hair and make-up. Much like her fiancé, Emmeline kept stealing glances at the door. Molly warned her very early on that she was not to go looking for Remus—it was bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding.
"What if he changes his mind?" Emmeline asked Naomi quietly while the other witches busied themselves by looking at their simple gowns. "What if last night Sirius took him out to some pub and he met someone else, and decided he really doesn't want me?"
Naomi bit her lip to keep from laughing. "Well, then, you and I would first have to kill Sirius, then we'll hunt down Remus and kill him, slowly and painfully," she said matter-of-factly. "That would never happen, anyway. Remus isn't that kind of man. No, he's probably down the hall fussing over his hair and biting his nails while Sirius either makes it worse, or tries to make him feel better and in doing so, makes it worse." Naomi watched Emmeline heave a shaky sigh. "Look, Remus is insanely in love with you. There is absolutely no chance of him waking up this morning and deciding otherwise."
Finally Emmeline nodded and smiled. She opened her mouth to reply, but a knock on the door cut her off. All of the witches snapped their heads in that direction, and Naomi had to push Emmeline by her shoulders back into her chair to keep her from sprinting to the door. "Who's there?" Molly asked sharply.
"The best man!" a voice called back.
"What is he doing here?" Molly asked in exasperation. "Are you alone?"
"Well, I've got my imaginary leprechaun friend Toby on my shoulder, but other than that, I'm alone."
The witches turned and raised their eyebrows at Naomi who sighed and closed her eyes. She had to wonder when it was exactly that she'd lost her sanity, and consequently, agreed to marry Sirius Black. "What do you want, Sirius?" she called.
"I've been sent to check on Emmeline," he said. "Remus seems to think she's run out on him or something."
Molly nodded her permission and Tonks opened the door to allow her cousin's entrance. "Nice dresses, ladies," he said, looking around. "Who picked them out, then?"
"They're bathrobes, idiot," Naomi said as he approached and kissed her.
"Ah, so they are. Well, I wasn't aware this wedding was so casual or I'd have worn my boxers with the yellow duckies on them." He grinned.
Emmeline glared at him. "How's Remus? Honestly?"
"Well, last I saw him, he was huddled over the toilet nursing a hangover, and—OW!" he said as Naomi punched him in the arm. Rubbing his arm, he answered honestly, "He's fine. A little anxious, but he's got his robes on, and now he's just waiting."
"You've got nothing to worry about, so don't," he said quietly, kneeling in front of her. "All he could talk about last night was you. Got a bit irritating, actually. Couldn't concentrate on that stripper in my lap at all. " She laughed a little and he smiled. Naomi excused herself from the pair when Sirius gave her a look, which silently but politely asked if he and Emmeline could have a moment.
"I was actually hoping to talk to you before the wedding, and I think this may be the best and only time I'll get the chance," Sirius told Emmeline quietly. She looked at him in question; for once, his voice held no trace of humor in it. "I wanted to thank you, Emmeline. You may or may not know this, but you've made my best friend the happiest he's ever been in his life. He's never looked at anyone the way he does you, and the way his eyes light up when you walk into a room, or laugh, or smile, or even just look at him... It's amazing, Emmeline. And you've no idea what it means to me that you've stuck with him, even after seeing what our lives are like. You became an unofficial member of this family when you came back from France. Today, it will be official—finally—and before I go back to tell Remus you haven't run off on him, I want to welcome you to our family, and no, I didn't mean for this to sound as cheesy as it did."
She smiled, her eyes filled with tears. "It wasn't too cheesy," she teased. "Thank you, Sirius."
The wizard winked and leaned up to kiss her cheek. "See you in an hour, then," he said. "Have fun, ladies."
He gave Naomi another kiss before leaving. "What did you say to her?" Naomi asked, noting the soft smile on Emmeline's lips.
Sirius shrugged. "Tried to convince her to marry me instead of Remus. She didn't go for it, so I went with telling her all the usual gush people say on wedding days."
Naomi chuckled and kissed him again. "Well, whatever you said, it worked. She was talking about how afraid that Remus was going to ditch her."
"Never," Sirius said confidently. "But I really should go—Molly's glaring at us. Again. I'll see you in a few... Love you."
"Love you too," she said as he went out the door.
Remus' fingers were tapping in a rapid succession while his left leg refused to stay still. His eyes ought to. Ron and Harry were in a corner playing a game of cards, with Fred and George watching and giving them unhelpful hints as they went. Charlie and Arthur were straightening their robes and flattening their hair. And Sirius and Bill kept glancing at him, grinning and whispering. He longed to slap the grins off both their faces, but he wasn't sure his legs would support the long journey across the room. Ten minutes, ten very long minutes, before he could get outside and breathe in some much needed fresh air.
People had been in and out for the past hour to wish him good luck and offer him their congratulations. Minerva had only stayed a few minutes—she'd been dabbing at her eyes, claiming allergies. Emmeline's brother, Thomas, had stopped in as well to welcome Remus to his family and to tell him how great it was to see his baby sister so happy, then, in a very light-hearted voice, promised to tear his arms off if he ever broke Emmeline's heart. Remus had tried to reply, but his voice hadn't been working properly all day.
Remus had tired to imagine what Emmeline would look like in her dress, but since she hadn't even described it to him, he was clueless. She would look gorgeous, of course; she always did. In just a few hours, they'd be dancing their first song together as husband and wife. That thought put a large smile on his face.
Only two years ago, he never would have thought he'd be where he was today. He hadn't gone looking for love or someone to share his life with, but somehow, it had found him. Remus thought back to all the twists and turns his life had taken in the last months, and wondered idly how he'd managed to survive it all. Everything from Naomi, to France, to Emmeline, to Sirius, Harry, Voldemort, Greyback, the war in general...
Movements caught out of the corner of his eye made Remus turn his head. Sirius was attempting, with no success mind, to flatten Harry's hair while the boy sat glaring at him. Without them, his life wouldn't be near what it was now. He'd probably still be wallowing in his own self-pity. Or maybe he'd already have given up and put himself out of his misery. Sirius and Harry left him in little doubt that he was where he belonged.
The alarm on Ron's wristwatch chimed noon and Remus' head snapped his head in the redhead's direction, his eyes wide, his heart rate quickening. Sirius turned away from Harry, grinning widely.
"Well, what're we waiting for?" Sirius asked, clapping his hands together and rubbing them eagerly. "We've got a werewolf to marry off."
That day, most of the students had either gone to Hogsmeade or stayed up in their dormitories to play various games, so the Hogwarts grounds were mostly deserted. If any of them were to look out one of the many windows and strain their eyes considerably to the other side of the lake, they might be able to see a group of their professors and others congregated in a small clearing of trees.
Albus Dumbledore stood with his back to the lake, smiling serenely on the scene before him. Remus, Sirius, Harry, and Arthur stood on his left, looking magnificent in their robes. The groom was looking all around him, trying to spot his bride, but his best man kept pulling his attention away from the aisle to where they stood. The apprehensive feelings Remus had been subject to all morning had only intensified as the guests began to arrive. Andromeda and Ted Tonks sat in the groom's section, smiling and waving to the people they knew. Minister Bones had even found time out of her busy schedule to come witness the union of two of her department heads. Most of the Hogwarts professors had turned up, although Snape was nowhere to be seen, Remus noticed very gratefully. Hagrid stood in the back in a large, shaggy brown coat and his yellow and purple polka dot tie. He was dabbing at his eyes with a handkerchief he'd knitted himself, and when he'd blown his nose, it had sounded something like a trumpet.
"I can't take this anymore, Sirius," Remus muttered. "Why isn't she here yet?"
Sirius turned away from the conversation he was having with Harry and put an arm around his best friend's shoulder. "She'll be here in a minute, mate, you have my word. Just keep your mind on what the two of you are going to be doing on your honeymoon tomorrow night, and you'll be okay."
Remus raised an eyebrow at him. "Oh yeah, that'll calm me down," he said sarcastically.
Sirius chuckled. "Remus, I saw her, I talked to her. She will be here. She is not going to leave you standing here looking like an idiot—"
"I look like an idiot?" Remus asked, looking down at himself in alarm.
"You look great, Remus," Harry cut in. "Never seen you look better than you do right now."
Remus gave him a shaky smile. "Thanks, Harry."
Harry winked and went to say something, but somewhere around them, music began to play. Remus tensed visibly, and for about thirty seconds he was sure he'd stopped breathing. He could finally see something in the dark, wooded path in front of him. It was Molly in her light blue bridesmaid dress. Remus could hear his heart pounding in his ears as Molly made her way to the front and gave him a smile. Ginny was next, and Remus vaguely realized he'd never seen her in a dress before—she looked quite lovely. He wanted to lean over Sirius to see Harry's reaction to his girlfriend, but couldn't get his muscles to cooperate. Naomi followed a short time later, and he heard Sirius' sharp intake of breath. Remus didn't blame him; Naomi looked absolutely stunning in her dress—it had been let out just enough so that it wouldn't be too tight around her belly, but just by looking at her, one wouldn't have been able to tell she was nearly two months pregnant.
Remus' breaths began coming to him in quick succession, giving him the feeling that he was going to hyperventilate any moment. Though he'd only been to a few weddings in his life, the last one being Lily and James' nearly nineteen years ago, he knew what came next. And sure enough, the music changed to the Wedding March, and Emmeline's niece Nicole started down the aisle, throwing white and pink flower pedals as she went. Behind Nicole was her brother Andrew who took over the position of ring bearer after Emmeline's other brother, Michael, was told he and his family were not welcome at the wedding.
Remus' heart stopped beating for a moment as he finally laid eyes on his bride. She looked like something out of his dreams. Her long white dress fit her perfectly in every way. It was simple yet elegant, and seemed to shimmer in the sunlight. Her hair was pulled back into a simple plait, with a few curled strands hanging on either side of her face. Around her neck, she wore a delicate chain with a small heart charm that Remus had gotten her for her last birthday.
"Sirius," he muttered weakly, reaching out for his best friend's arm, afraid that he was going to lose his balance on his weak legs. Sirius chuckled and held onto his arm as Thomas led his sister down the aisle. Remus wasn't even able to register that Hermione and Tonks were behind Emmeline, holding the back of her dress off the ground; in fact, it seemed that everyone else had disappeared. She was all he could see. Their eyes locked as she got closer, and he could see the look of pure joy and love in hers—he hoped his eyes were showing her the same.
Finally she was there with him. Sirius released his arm so he could turn to her and take her hands in his. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, trying to speak but unable to get anything out. "You look... wow..." he eventually breathed. "I've never seen you more beautiful than you are right now, Emmeline."
She smiled, her eyes already filled with tears as her fingers rubbed across his knuckles. "Well, you aren't exactly looking shabby right now either, dear," she said quietly. He smiled wider and reluctantly turned his eyes from her as Dumbledore cleared his throat softly.
"You both look stunning," the Headmaster said quietly, his eyes twinkling and shining with what looked suspiciously like tears. "Shall we begin?"
The couple looked at one another again, smiled, and nodded. Remus squeezed his bride's hand again as Dumbledore began. "We are gathered here today to witness the union of two wonderful people..."
Sirius had a smile on his face that would not go away—not that he tried too hard to make it disappear. The looks on Remus and Emmeline's faces when they snuck glances at each other were nothing short of ecstasy. The Auror had a feeling neither of them was really listening to a word Dumbledore was saying, but rather were taking in the fact that this day had finally come, and very soon, they would be officially married. Sirius looked past the couple to where the bridesmaids stood, and found Naomi smiling back at him. He winked and mouthed 'I love you,' and she returned it, her own eyes looking very bright as she turned back to Remus and Emmeline.
"Do you have the rings?" Dumbledore asked, bringing Sirius back to the wedding.
"Huh?" he said stupidly as everyone turned to him. "Oh, right," he muttered. Remus tried to glare at him, but his lips were twitching uncontrollably. Sirius reached into his pocket and retrieved to gold wedding bands. He handed Remus Emmeline's ring, which was studded with tiny diamonds; then handed Remus' to the witch. She'd had it engraved on the inside to say 'All my love, forever.' He stepped back beside Harry who grinned and shook his head at his godfather. Sirius grinned back and shrugged. His intention was to turn back to Dumbledore, but movement at the mouth of the forest caught his eye. He could vaguely make out the silhouette of a wizard in black robes trying to remain hidden. It took Sirius a moment to recognize who it was, but when he did, he had to fight back the mixture of confusion and anger that welled up when he realized that Snape had dared to show up to the wedding.
"What's he doing here?" Harry said out of the corner of his mouth, noticing Snape as well.
"Don't know," Sirius replied in a whisper. "Ignore him." When he looked back a few minutes later, Snape was nowhere to be seen, much to Sirius' relief.
They turned back as Remus was getting ready to place the ring on Emmeline's finger. "You are the woman I've waited for my whole life, Emmeline. You are my love, my best friend, and now my wife. With this ring, I promise to do everything in my power to love, protect, and provide for you. I love you, Emmeline."
Emmeline sniffed a little as tears slipped from her eyes when Remus placed the ring on her finger and raised her hand to his lips. She held his left hand in her right, the ring in her left. "Remus, you've done more for me than I can ever tell you. I never thought that I would find anybody like you, but now that I have, I don't ever want to let you go. You're the man of my dreams and more; you're the best friend I've ever had in my life; you're my better half, my lover, my future. With this ring, I promise to love and support you for the rest of our lives. I love you."
Now Remus was crying through his wide smile as Emmeline slipped his ring onto his finger. They turned back to the Headmaster who smiled softly at them. "By power granted to me by the Wizengamot, I now, finally, pronounce you husband and wife. Remus, you may kiss your bride."
Remus didn't need to be told twice. Though they were both happily crying, the groom crushed his lips against his new wife's lips in a searing kiss. Around them loud cheers erupted, sending startled owls out of their trees and into the sky. It was difficult to determine who was louder that day, Sirius, Harry, and Naomi, or Hagrid. Together they drowned out every other sound in the area as the couple kissed. When they pulled apart, they were both smiling more widely than Sirius could remember seeing them. Emmeline took Remus' arm as they turned to the aisle and began to make their way to Hagrid's hut, where they would be having the reception. Sirius took Naomi's hand and followed with Harry and Ginny, and Arthur and Molly just behind them.
The inside of Hagrid's hut had been magically expanded and transformed to a fair-sized room, equipped with tables, a wooden dance floor, and a long table with a variety of foods. A large, three-tier cake sat on its own table with two small figurines that Sirius had charmed to look like Remus and Emmeline. Currently, the plastic pair was doing a waltz across the white frosting.
The bride, groom, maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids, and groomsmen all sat together at their own table, talking, as they waited for their food to be served. Remus and Emmeline hadn't let their eyes drift from one another for too long, and every few minutes, they exchanged a kiss without any prompting from their audience. Goblets of wine sat in front of every attendee over the age of fifteen, except for Naomi who'd been served sparkling cider, and Sirius waited only long enough for everyone to get settled before he stood.
"OY!" he yelled after trying to silence the large group by more subtle means. "Thank you," he said in his normal tone, grinning broadly. "As best man, I would like to thank all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules to be here today. I've been thinking about what I should say during this little speech for weeks, and everything I've come up with just doesn't seem good enough. So I'll keep this short, and mostly sweet." Remus and Emmeline rolled their eyes. "Remus, you are my best friend, my brother, and no one deserves this happiness more than you. And Emmeline, though I haven't known you nearly as long as Remus, I do know that you are a beautiful, kind, wonderful person, and I know that you will be very happy in your marriage. I raise my glass—well, goblet—to both of you in congratulations, and wish you all the best. To Remus and Emmeline!"
The others echoed his thoughts and he sat back down. Remus leaned over to give Sirius a one-armed hug. "Thank you, Sirius," he said.
Sirius inclined his head. "I wanted to say a lot more, but I would have been up here all day if I'd said everything I had planned in my head."
Remus chuckled. "What you said was perfect. I guess this means I've got to come up with something to say after your wedding, then?"
Sirius shrugged. "If you want," he said indifferently, though Remus could tell he really did want his best friend to make a speech at his wedding. "So when do we get to eat?"
"Is food all you ever think about?" Naomi asked from beside him.
Sirius turned to his fiancée. "No, I think about how much I love you in between meals," he said smoothly.
Emmeline laughed. "Nice save, Sirius," she said, grinning at Naomi's eye roll.
"I do try." Sirius winked at her.
Once everybody was fed and watered to their satisfaction, it was time for the newlyweds to have their first dance. They'd selected an old slow song by Celestina Warbeck and held each other close, staring into each other's eyes as they swayed to the music.
"You really do look spectacular in this dress, Emmeline," Remus whispered to her.
She smiled and leaned up to kiss him. "Thank you," she whispered back. "Can you believe we're finally married?"
He shook his head. "I never thought it would come. I swear, that clock in the guest quarters was broken—I was about to go mad, waiting so long."
She chuckled. "Same here. I wanted to come see you, but Molly absolutely forbade it. She said if I saw you before the wedding, our marriage would be doomed."
Remus snorted. "I couldn't even leave our quarters; Sirius charmed it so that if I tried, I'd get hit with boil powder. That's why I sent him to check on you."
"Did you really think I'd run out on you?"
He shrugged a little. "Stranger things have happened," he said quietly.
She pulled herself closer to him. "You never have to worry about me leaving you, Remus. I meant everything I said in my vows with all my heart. It would take a lot more than just one night away from you to break the love I have for you."
"I know," he whispered. "Old insecurities are just hard to break..."
"Well, I'm here to help you with that," she said, smiling softly. He smiled back and kissed her again. They didn't even realize their song had ended until Remus felt a tap on his shoulder. He looked behind him to find Sirius grinning broadly.
"May I cut in?" he asked.
Remus chuckled and looked to Emmeline for permission. She rolled her eyes, smiling, and nodded. "One song, Padfoot," Remus said sternly. "And I'll be watching."
"Yeah, yeah, get lost," Sirius muttered, grinning and putting his hands in the middle of Emmeline's waist, careful not to go too low.
Remus went back to the table where Naomi sat watching Sirius and Emmeline with a smile. "Hey, you," he said, sitting beside her. "How's it going?"
She nodded and smiled at him. "Pretty good. So how's it feel?"
"Being married?" She nodded. "It feels absolutely amazing," he said dreamily. "This whole day just seems like a dream to me, everything has gone so perfectly. It makes me wonder what's going to go wrong."
"Nothing will go wrong," Naomi said firmly. "The day will continue to go perfectly, and tomorrow, when you and Emmeline leave for Italy—yes, I know you're going to Italy; I saw the brochure in the desk drawer in the library last week," she added at Remus' surprised look. "Anyway, when you leave for Italy, you'll see that nothing has gone wrong. And don't start thinking about when something is going to happen—this is your wedding day; you're supposed to think happy things, not about wars and attacks. Understand, Lupin?"
Remus chuckled. "Anything you say, Watts." He grinned. "How about a dance?" he asked after a few minutes of watching Emmeline and Sirius laughing together about something.
Naomi stared at him for a minute as though wondering if he was serious. Finally, she smiled. "Okay," she said quietly.
He smiled back and stood, taking her hand and leading her out to the dance floor. He slipped his arms around her waist while she rested hers on his shoulders. "Do you remember the first time we ever danced together?"
She thought for a minute and laughed. "Yes. Fourth year Christmas holidays, wasn't it? The Potters had that Christmas party and it'd taken you three hours to finally ask me."
He sighed dramatically. "Yes, well, it was either ask you to dance, or listen to James and Sirius tease me for the rest of the year. So five minutes of trying not to embarrass myself in front of my crush was a small price to pay to avoid that."
"You didn't embarrass yourself," she assured him. "And if you hadn't asked me when you did, I was going to ask you anyway. So either way, you would have been stuck dancing with me."
Remus chuckled. "I could have had far worse fates, I think."
Naomi smiled. "You know, I never thanked you for letting me stay with you guys. You of all people have more reasons than most to hate everything about me, but I'd like to think we're something like friends again."
"Yeah," he said softly. "Well, I wasn't just going to let you stay at Hogwarts where anybody could have gotten to you, especially after what you did for us at the cottage. I've forgiven you for what happened between us all those years ago, Naomi, and yes, I would consider us friends now. I think the main reason for that is what you and Sirius have. He really does love you, and I'm sure you'll recall how hard it was for him to even look at another woman after Julia died."
"He's come a long way," Naomi agreed. "All three of us have, when you think about it. When we met that first day on the Hogwarts Express, I never would have imagined anything that's happened. None of us have had the easiest lives, but I think we're doing pretty damn well, don't you?"
"Absolutely," Remus said, smiling and twirling her a bit, making her giggle. "And it can only get better from here."
Sirius noticed that Harry and Ginny had disappeared from Hagrid's hut. They returned just as the cake was to be cut, both of them fighting not to grin widely. The Head Auror raised an eyebrow at his godson, but the boy carefully avoided looking at his guardian. But Harry and Ginny weren't the only ones trying to get some alone time. Hermione and Ron had gone to get a crate of butterbeer from the side of the hut, and when they'd come through the backdoor, Ron's ears were bright red, and he had the dopiest look Sirius have ever seen on his face.
Bill and his girlfriend Fleur announced to a select group of people that they'd gotten engaged. Molly and Arthur were not yet a part of the group—Bill told Sirius confidentially that his mother wasn't too fond of the Frenchwoman. Charlie and Tonks spent the whole reception together dancing, eating, or just talking. Sirius wondered how he ever could have missed the signs that they'd been dating—it was so obvious...
Remus and Emmeline made their way to the cake amidst cheering and clapping. Emmeline picked up the knife and her new husband placed a hand over hers to help her cut the first slice. But the moment the knife slid into the cake, Remus furrowed his brow as he heard a quiet ticking noise from somewhere inside it. Before he could pull Emmeline away, the cake exploded onto the couple and hit those closest to them.
As Remus blinked frosting out of his eyes, he looked to see his wife, covered in bits of cake, grinning widely, her eyes dancing in mischief. "Did you do this?" he asked incredulously.
She burst out laughing. "Why would I do this? I really wanted that cake..." she said longingly. "You just look completely adorable with cake all in your hair."
Remus raised a frosting covered eyebrow. "Do I now?" Before Emmeline could escape, he captured and kissed her. "Mmm," he murmured when they broke apart. "That is good cake."
"Very good cake," she agreed, pulling him back to her for another kiss.
Once the wedding cake had been cleaned up, a few of the house-elves whipped up a few smaller cakes for the party. Naomi had her slice and went to find her fiancé. The Auror was laughing loudly with Harry, Ron, Fred, and George. "So which one of you was it, then?" she asked, her hands on her hips.
Sirius jumped and turned. "Sorry? Don't know what you mean, darling," he said, trying and failing to look innocent. She'd known him since he was five years old, and that look never fooled her.
Naomi rolled her eyes. "You just couldn't go one day without a prank, could you?"
"Oh, come on," Sirius scoffed. "I pulled much worse at Lily and James' wedding, if you remember correctly. Don't you remember the charmed dance floor that wouldn't let anyone dance anything but swing?"
The boys burst out laughing and Naomi's lips twitched. "Didn't someone break an arm that night?"
"Frank Longbottom, as a matter of fact." Sirius grinned. "He never forgave me for that..."
As the night wore on, and more wine was consumed, dancing partners changed faster than the songs did. By ten o'clock everyone had danced with everyone at least once. Some of the odder pairings that night had been Hagrid and McGonagall waltzing, Sirius and Remus doing a tango, Ted Tonks and his daughter teaching Mad-Eye the Chicken Dance, and of course, to top it all off, Dumbledore and Hagrid's boarhound Fang doing an odd ballroom dance. Naomi had made sure to get a picture of that.
When Emmeline's niece and nephew fell asleep on the floor around midnight, a lot of the guests called it a night. They congratulated the newlyweds one last time, and wished them a good trip on their honeymoon. Remus received a lot of sly winks from the younger wizards—Sturgis Podmore, all the Weasley boys, Harry, and Sirius, who didn't seem to stop winking at his best friend. Remus started to wonder if Sirius had gotten something in his eyes. Before the Hogwarts students in attendance went to back to the castle to get some rest, Remus promised Harry he and Emmeline would send pictures from their trip and would bring him back something nice.
Dumbledore instructed Sirius, Naomi, Remus, and Emmeline not to worry about the mess in Hagrid's hut. With a wave of the Headmaster's wand, the gamekeeper's home was back to normal. Hagrid gave the newlyweds his own congratulations that knocked the wind out of Remus and may have partially bruised Emmeline's ribs, but neither of them complained as Dumbledore led the four of them to the Hogwarts gates to Apparate back to Number Twelve.
"Thank you again, Albus, for everything," Remus said sincerely, shaking the Headmaster's hand.
Dumbledore waved him off. "It was an honor to host your wedding here, Remus. And Sirius, Naomi, if you ever wish to hold a second wedding later on, you are more than welcome to come to Hogwarts."
"Thank you, sir." Naomi smiled, putting her arm through Sirius'.
The Headmaster inclined his head. "Have a safe trip, Remus, Emmeline. I would not be too upset if I was to receive a postcard at some point within the next two weeks."
Emmeline chuckled. "Consider it done, sir," she said.
Once the goodbyes were exchanged, the four friends Disapparated from Hogwarts and arrived in Grimmauld Place. "This place doesn't even look that depressing anymore," Remus said, grinning, as he picked his new wife up. She squealed in surprise and Sirius, laughing, ran ahead to open the door for Remus to carry her over the threshold. Naomi started to enter behind them, but Sirius stopped her.
"May I carry you over the threshold, too?" Sirius asked huskily.
Naomi raised an eyebrow. "We're not married yet."
Sirius shrugged. "So? When did I ever go with tradition? We'll be married in two weeks, but I don't want to wait that long..."
Naomi laughed a little at the slight whine in his voice and leaned in to kiss him. "Yes, you may carry me over the threshold," she murmured against his lips.
He grinned and took her in her arms, kicking the door softly shut behind him once they entered, and following Remus' tracks to the drawing room. With Naomi still in his arms, Sirius cleared his throat loudly. "You're not on your honeymoon yet, kids," he called.
Remus and Emmeline pulled apart on the sofa only long enough to throw a pillow at Sirius. "Sod off, Padfoot," Remus said before going back to paying attention to only his wife.
The next morning just after sunrise, Remus and Emmeline had their bags packed and sitting next to the door before they were to leave on their two-week honeymoon. Remus had made her a large breakfast with all of her favorite foods, but they spent more time leaning across the table to steal a kiss or two than they did eating. By the time Sirius and Naomi finally wandered down, there was still enough food of satisfy even the Head Auror's never-ending appetite.
"We should be going, anyway," Remus said, glancing at his watch. "Hotel check-in is at ten and we want to do some sight-seeing today."
Sirius snorted loudly. "You mean you're actually going to leave your hotel room?"
"Well, we have to at some point, don't we?"
"No." Sirius grinned.
Emmeline smiled and rolled her eyes. "We've got two weeks to ourselves, Sirius, trust me, that's plenty of time."
"You two have to get busy making my daughter a friend to play with," Sirius said.
"Who says we haven't already started?" Remus grinned. Emmeline slapped him lightly in the arm. Chuckling, he put an arm around his wife's shoulder to steer her away from the kitchen. "Okay, we're leaving. We'll see you both in two weeks, then."
"Be careful and have fun," Naomi said tiredly.
Remus winked. "We will," he said slyly, causing Sirius to laugh. "See you, Padfoot."
"See you, Moony, Emmeline. Bring us back something nice!"
"Only if you promise not to blow the house up!" Remus called down the stairs.
The front door closed quietly and Sirius and Naomi turned to one another, smiling. "So we're alone for two weeks, something that has never happened to us," Sirius said huskily, leaning close to her. "What ever shall we do with our time?"
Naomi licked her lips. "I'll set up the chessboard if you load all this food onto a tray and bring it to the library," she whispered.
Sirius kissed her tenderly. "I knew there was some reason I loved you so much."
That day, the world was working in perfect harmony. For Remus and Emmeline, and Sirius and Naomi, the war wasn't still going on, Voldemort didn't exist, and there wasn't a chance of them not living to the next week. For once, they all felt one hundred percent normal, and though they knew it couldn't last forever, they knew how to enjoy it while it lasted.