Title: In A Boys Dream
Summary: Imagine a lion in a cage, and into that cage flies a butterfly. If the lion was free it would pay no heed to such a creature. But the lion is not free. And so the butterfly slowly drives it insane.- For them, it took five days to fall in love. RL/GW
Disclaimer: The quote above is from Peter Pan. I only own the plot.
He was trapped. Locked up into some small cage and he wasn't allowed to leave it until the war was over. Somehow, he had ended up to be in the same position as his former best friend, Sirius Black, had been years before.
Honestly, he didn't know how Dumbledore convinced him that staying at number 12 Grimmauld Place would be good for him. He was no convict escaping from the arms of Ministry officials.
If he were captured by Deatheaters, he had no important information that could lead to the downfall of the Order of Phoenix. Harry and himself were not that close, as much as he tried to be, so it wouldn't be as though the boy were losing another father figure.
Clearly, he had no use staying at the Headquarters but, as much as he wished to leave, he wasn't able to step out of the house. He had made a promise and he knew the depth and meaning of a promise. Most of the time, Remus had no company, for everyone was off doing something.
A sick tightening grabbed his stomach and Remus lowered his head into his arms, trying to capture some sleep. Now he knew how Sirius felt, alone so much that he took to talking to a Hippogriff. Remus had tried to be there for him but Dumbledore often sent him on missions and it had been so hard.
Closing his eyes, tightly, the man wondered how his life went from being so great to turning so terrible. True, before Hogwarts, the life he had with his parents was hardly special, but when he arrived at Hogwarts…
Remus lifted his head, managing to open his eyes while doing so, and stared at the bottle of Firewhisky in front of him. The bottle swam, slightly, as though trying to dodge from being seen by him and he groaned. Perhaps drinking those several shots hadn't done him any good.
He had taken to drinking as he became lonelier. There was a good amount of liquor here at number 12 Grimmauld Place and he found no shame in drinking most of it. If he was going to suffer, he wasn't going to suffer alone.
Wrapping his long fingers around the neck of the bottle, Remus dragged it toward him, wincing at the sound of it scrapping against the wood of the old table it sat on. Releasing the bottle, and making sure it didn't spill like it had earlier, Remus grabbed the single shot glass he used and brought it over to him.
… Once he arrived at Hogwarts, at the sorrowful age of eleven, he had met the three most amazing boys in the universe. He had seen what love was, if not the type of romance but platonic, and he cherished it. And he had all seven of his years of Hogwarts, what with having the ability to transform into a horrid dark creature every month and still have friends to wake up to the next morning-
Remus blinked when he noticed that his shot glass was flooding over. Tipping the bottle of Firewhisky back upright, Remus bent over and placed his lips on the glass. He sipped at the alcohol slowly, almost enjoying the taste. His stomach was in slight knots at the knowledge of what this would do to him and a grin almost came to his lips.
He really was pathetic, he realized as he lifted himself up and brought the shot glass to his mouth. Without a moment's hesitation, he downed the alcohol, allowing it to leave a burning trail down his throat and deep into his body.
-But then that all changed. Remus Lupin had become a grown man, he was graduating from Hogwarts and was done being prepared and warned about the real world. The real, dark world where Voldemort was taking rule and Deatheaters were around every corner.
Somehow, though, the Marauders managed to stay together. James had married the love of his life right out of Hogwarts and it wasn't long before they realized that she was expecting. Times were getting much darker, though.
A week after Harry was born, Lily and James were forced to go under the Fidelius charm. Sirius was drifting away from Remus, pulling James with him. Peter had already drifted away from Remus but was close enough to Sirius that…
Remus growled, angrily, taking the bottle of Firewhisky and throwing it to the ground. That dirty rat had tricked them all, ruined all their lives! It was almost slow motion as the bottle exploded on the ground, sending glass and alcohol flying in the air.
He flinched as a piece of glass swept across his cheek, bringing a burning sensation. But, soon, the burning sensation became a tingling one and Remus forgot about it. Standing up, he walked around the broken bottle, stumbling at some points.
Just as he was about to collapse onto the dusty object that was called a bed, there was a knock upon his bed. This surprised him greatly, for he was the only one at the Headquarters, and he fell to the ground. Another knock came after a second.
" Remus, dear? Are you all right in there? I thought I heard a crash-" Molly Weasley.
Getting to his feet, after several moments, Remus walked over to the door. He closed his hand around the doorknob just as another knock came.
" I'm 'ere, Molly," He mumbled and opened the door.
As embarrassing and awkward as it was for Molly to see him drunk, it was nothing to the fact that her daughter had to see him drunk. Indeed, it took him a long while to figure out whom, exactly, the girl standing next to Molly was but, when he did, he was sure he blushed.
" Remus," Molly greeted, though her eyes were narrowed slightly. " I've just come to tell you that I'll be here to cook dinner for tonight and that Ginny has decided to stay at the Headquarters for Christmas vacation."
Turning his eyes to Ginny, again, he saw that she was looking at him coolly, seeming more worried then amused by his smashed appearance. But he couldn't look at her too long for her spinning was too much for him.
" Jolly good," He said, quickly, before turning around and shutting the door.
He had hit the ground, unconscious, before he had time to remember Molly and Ginny's shocked expressions.
" Professor, wake up," A simple voice ordered.
Remus made no noise as he brought a heavy hand up to his face, wiping at his eyes. No, no, it would be too hard to wake up at the moment. Now, if that voice would just let him sleep…
" Mum has made dinner and is expecting us, just so you know," The voice informed him. " I suspect you should wake up before she comes up and drags you off the floor."
Was he sleeping on the floor? That question caused his eyes to open, slowly, and he saw that a red haired woman was squatting in front of him. Her brown eyes were studying him calmly and her lips were pursed. Feeling his eyes drift shut, Remus let her hear a small groan.
All he heard was a rustling of clothes before footsteps walking away from him as he fell back to sleep, trying to forget the turning of his stomach and pounding of his head.
It was a sharp stinging and gentle hands that he awoke to only several minutes later. His breathing was irregular as he opened his eyes. He saw that it was the same woman who had awoken to before that was holding his face now, one of her hands holding a cloth to his cheek.
" What did you do to yourself, Professor?" She questioned and he lifted a hand to his stomach.
His fingers, tiredly, stroked the area, as though that would stop his stomach from feeling so queasy. In his ears, he could heart his heart pounding, as though, over night, his heart had been removed from his chest to his ears. The stinging he felt, though, he did not know what was from.
" Merlin, even Fred and George don't get this smashed." She paused, lifting the rag in her hand so that he could see it. " Well, not often, anyway."
Remus blinked as he saw that the rag was red but the tips were white. He tried to think back but couldn't remember ever cutting himself. The woman, her face becoming more familiar by the moment, pulled out her wand and placed it on his cheek, whispering a Healing charm.
She turned her eyes to his and frowned. It was Ginny, his mind told him, and Remus felt a blush cover his cheeks. His former student had seen him drunk and then was the one healing him while he had a hang over.
" Ready to sit up?" Ginny asked.
" As helpful as you are," Remus' voice slurred slightly as he felt something crawling up his throat. " It may be best if you leave."
He finished the last bit quickly and sat up.
" Might it?" She said, raising her eyebrows. " All right then, I'll see you down at dinner."
She stood up, dropping the bloody rag on the table he had been sitting at that morning, when he was drinking. Without a backwards glance, she opened the door to his bedroom and left. Remus put his face in his hands and groaned, loudly.
As he sat up, his face paling quickly when he realized something was crawling up his throat again, he hardly processed the fact that he wanted her to stay. All that was heard from his room was the sound of someone getting sick. He wouldn't be making it to dinner…
Morning light streamed into his room and almost blinded him when he opened his eyes. He frowned in confusion before sitting up. Had he slept through the night? Looking around, he saw that the glass from the bottle he had thrown the day before was cleaned up. A stain was on the floor though, a red stain, and he lifted a hand to touch his cheek.
A pinch of pain shocked him but, other then that, he realized he had no wound. Running a hand through his hair, Remus glanced around the room. Food on a plate was put on the table but he guessed it to be cold. Last he remembered, before he fell asleep, was that he had been in the bathroom connected to his bedroom.
Either Molly had come in and saved him or Ginny, the woman- girl, Remus reminded himself- who had healed his wound, had decided to help him out further. He closed his eyes in embarrassment. How could he have ever let himself be seen in such a pitiful state?
Throwing his legs off the bed, Remus cracked his neck and frowned, feeling the day old clothes scratch at his skin. His stomach growled at the same time, reminding him that he had to eat before he got sick again. Standing up, he let a wave of dizziness pass over him before moving to his dresser.
There was no noise in the house as he walked down the stairs, down a hallway and into the kitchen. He was use to the lack of noise but the fact that Ginny Weasley was suppose to be here, with her mother, and there was still no noise worried him slightly. Pushing open the kitchen door, he was about to go straight to the cupboard when he felt a pair of eyes watching him.
Turning his head, slowly, he saw that the youngest Weasley was sitting at the kitchen table, a plate of food in front of her. She didn't lower her eyes when he continued to stare at her but frowned, deeply, as though disappointed in him.
" Good morning," He greeted her.
" Is it really?" She responded as she took a bite of eggs. " Mum made some breakfast for you, on the counter."
Remus saw that, indeed, there was a plate of eggs, bacon, sausage and toast on the counter. Raising an eyebrow in slight surprise at the fact that he didn't have to cook breakfast for once, Remus walked over to the counter and took the plate then took a seat at the table, across from Ginny.
" Where is your mum?" He asked, taking hold of the fork and knife that had already been set out on the table for him.
" Work for the Order," Ginny said, shrugging.
He looked up from eating his food and found that his eyes went straight to her hair. Her hair wasn't curly or straight, it seemed to be caught in the middle. Wavy and falling below her shoulders, almost to her breasts… It was red but, when caught in the sunlight, seemed to glow orange and gold.
Remus' fingers itched to take it between his fingers and feel its softness. He wondered, briefly, if it smelled of any certain scent- oranges or apples? Snapping his eyes away from Ginny's hair, he saw that some pinkness had come to her cheeks as she stared, intently, down at her food.
" I'm sorry," Remus told her and she looked up.
" It's fine." Ginny wrinkled her nose. " I hate it."
" Your hair?" He felt his eyes widen. " Why? It's lovely-"
" And it's a great bloody mess! You're lucky you're not a girl, Professor."
She laughed, lightly, but there was a slight strain in their conversation. Perhaps she was thinking of him drunk the day before while he was thinking of her hair. He cleared his throat before taking a piece of sausage and chewing on it.
" My name is Remus. I'm no longer your Professor, Ginny."
She watched him as he took another piece of sausage and ate it.
" Professor," Ginny whispered, as though she didn't trust herself to call him Remus.
Perhaps she didn't.
He could hear her snorts and giggles as she read some letter. She didn't bother to conceal her amusement as she moved from her bedroom upstairs to the study, where he was. A piece of parchment was in her hands as she dropped herself into the leather seat beside him.
Remus had already started on a bottle of wine, savoring the taste and how it floated over his tongue and down his throat. He leaned his head back, staring at the ceiling as she pulled her legs up onto the seat, under her.
" A friend of yours, I suppose?" Remus asked, more curious then anything else.
He felt more then saw her look up at her and she shifted, getting more comfortable in the seat. Rain poured outside of the house, flooding the yard, covering up the sun and disallowing her to go and do anything outside. So she decided to find some sort of company in him.
" Friend?" She laughed, looking slightly tempted to take the bottle of wine and pour herself a glass.
" You're too young for wine," Remus muttered as he took another sip of it.
" I'm too young for everything," Ginny whispered. " And, no, this letter is not from a friend. More of a boyfriend- well, ex-boyfriend. He dumped me."
Remus lifted his eyes to her own and watched as she threw the piece of parchment into the fire that burned in front of them. She didn't have a bitter or jealous or angry or sorrowful expression on her face. It was more of a content look.
" May I ask why?" He explored.
" Do you really want to know or do you just want to comfort me?" Ginny shot back, watching him as he raised an eyebrow.
" Both. Neither- you don't seem to need comfort, really."
A smile lifted the corners of Ginny's lips before she stood up from the seat. She walked around the chair and looked ready to leave, Remus' eyes following her moves.
" I'm going to Diagon Alley to see Fred and George," She told him, her smile growing. " It'll be fun."
" It's raining." He stated simply.
Ginny looked out the window, tilting her head slightly.
" I know."
When she left, he felt the familiar loneliness seeping into his skin. A bottle of Vodka (for him) later, she came back and found him passed out on the stairs.
" Why do you drink, Professor?"
She had lost her patience of waiting for him to wake up and used a spell to shake the sleep from him. The simple question had bugged her from her sleep, though Remus did not know this, and she wanted to know the answer.
He opened his eyes, seeming to have less of a hangover then he had the morning before. His eyes flickered around her face before his eyes drifted shut, making him look so incredibly tired.
" I'm lonely," Remus confessed.
Ginny observed him as his breathing became slower, showing that he had fallen asleep. She bit her lip as she allowed her fingers to brush some brown hair away from his closed eyes. A sigh escaped through her nose.
" But I'm here," She whispered.
It was sickening to see her Professor, the man who had once been so strong, live such a terrible life. Leaning down, she pressed a kiss to his forehead and stood from sitting on his bed, the lack of weight causing the bed to shift.
Ginny bit her lip, again, tapping her foot worriedly as she looked at the man before her. Something needed to be done, he couldn't live the rest of his life like this. Spinning around, she left the room, barely hearing his whisper.
" Are you really?"
He was feeling ashamed, again, as he sat in his room. The only reason he was still up in his room, and not down eating in the kitchen as his stomach wished, was that he was afraid to see Ginny.
The thought itself made his stomach twist uncomfortable and he had to get up from his seat and pace to the other side of the room. Ginny Weasley was a girl, maybe a woman, who he hardly knew but who was taking care of him… It wasn't with a motherly sense that her mother, Molly, might have used on him but something more.
One could say that Ginny was almost protecting him. Protecting him from himself- which was ridiculous in itself for how could one protect someone they hardly know from themselves? But Ginny was doing it, somehow.
She was a beautiful creature, also, he noticed when he awoke this morning and saw her sitting on the edge of his bed. His eyes had been attracted to her hair, right away, but then he forced himself to study her face. Her eyes were a deep brown, a dark chocolate, his favorite.
But, for some reason, he had a feeling that her eyes were only dark chocolate for her emotions were dark. She was worried about him.
Then there was her nose, which was small and turned up slightly at the end. Freckles dotted themselves across her nose and cheeks, like stars dotted themselves across the night sky. A natural blush highlighted her cheeks.
And her lips… Remus groaned, putting his head in his hands and leaning against the wall. Really, it wasn't her lips that made him groan but rather the smile that lay hidden in those lips, which Remus had yet to see. She didn't smile, not truly, because she was caring for him and worried for him.
Pushing himself away from the wall, Remus began pacing his room again. Christmas was coming up, also, and he had yet to buy anything for anyone.
" But who do I have to buy a present for?" He murmured to himself, running a hand through his brown hair, getting the longer pieces out of his eyes.
" Me," A delightful voice said from behind Remus and he stopped pacing, spinning around and facing his bedroom door.
Ginny smirked at his shocked face and took a step into the room, sniffing the air for something he did not know. Obviously, she didn't smell it for her smirk turned into a small smile and she walked over to Remus.
" I didn't know you awoke?" She asked him, not really telling him but asking him.
" I only woke up a little bit ago," Remus lied easily, not really wanting her to know that he had been awake for hours.
" Oh." Ginny turned away from him and, for a desperate moment, Remus was sure she was going to leave.
" Don't go-" He began to cry out just as she wretched open the curtains, causing light from the outside to come in.
" I'm not," She said to him, looking at him with a grin. " Hungry?"
Remus looked at her lips, at her grin, the thing he had previously been thinking of. It filled her lips, brightening her whole face. His eyes went to her eyes and he saw that, true to his guess, they were a lighter brown. But there was still something dark lurking there.
" Yes." Remus admitted.
" Good," Ginny began walking to the door to exit his bedroom as she continued speaking. " We can eat at Diagon Alley and then go get that present you need to buy."
" Present for who?" Remus asked, his eyebrows furrowing.
" Me," Ginny laughed, shutting the door.
Remus stood there, shocked, reeling over what had happened. Somehow his day went from pacing around the room to having to go to Diagon Alley with Ginny to buy her a present. A smile took the corner of his lips and it twisted, almost awkwardly, from lack of use.
But the smile quickly left. Dumbledore asked him to not leave the house and he had forgotten that. This was the reason he was so lonely. He could hardly do half the things he wished to do.
Walking past the window, which now had its curtains drawn, to go and tell Ginny what he realized, he saw that clouds had filled the sky. Small, white flakes were falling from those clouds and onto the ground, which was probably still moist from yesterday's rain.
Sighing through his nose, Remus left his room, looking for the red haired girl who had filled his thoughts.
She was putting on a yellow cloak when he found her, her back towards him. A song was being whispered from her mouth as she flipped her red hair out from under the cloak, so that it looked like blood was dripping down her back. Remus felt his mouth dry slightly and he blinked.
" Ginevra?" He called her name and she spun around, her eyes wide.
A muffled cry had come from her and her hand flew to some sort of jewelry around her neck. She was staring at his form, her eyes wide, and for a moment he was sure she was seeing someone else instead of him.
It took her a moment to calm down, her breathing having gone wide and a frantic, panicked look coming in her eyes. Remus thought the situation was very much like one where a wolf was about to attack its prey.
" Remus, is that you?" She breathed out, her hand releasing the clutch on the necklace she wore. " Get out of the shadows!"
He didn't notice he was in the shadows until she told him to get out of them. Stepping into the candlelight, he saw that she lowered her eyes to the ground.
" I'm sorry if I frightened you," Remus muttered.
" No. Someone I hate use to call me that and… I can't stand to hear it." Ginny waved off his apology, bringing her eyes up to his face.
" You can't stand to hear your own name?" Just the thought of it seemed tragically familiar.
" My name is Ginny," She corrected him, frowning. " Don't call me anything else."
Remus studied her for a moment. Ginny stared at him, one of her eyebrows raising.
" I can't promise you that," Remus told her and her eyes narrowed. " Ginevra is your name and I'll call you that."
Ginny nodded, shortly, looking as though she wished to say something else but not. Remus shifted his weight off his left foot to his right.
" You're ready to go, then?" Ginny questioned him.
" I can't go," Remus told her. " I've been banned into staying only this house. Dumbledore's orders."
Any twinkle that had been in her eyes dimmed, not totally disappearing, at his words and he felt terrible. Ginny breathed out a sigh and frowned.
" Oh. Well, I suppose I'll have to talk to him then," She told Remus.
" You're going to talk to Dumbledore just so I can go to Diagon Alley?" Remus chuckled in slight shock and amusement.
" Yes! I want a Christmas present from you," Ginny looked up at him with playful eyes. " I'm sure Harry does too."
Remus felt a ripple go through the air at Harry's name and a frown came to his lips. He had forgotten about Harry, to be honest. The two never talked-
" Where is Harry?" Remus questioned.
" Ron and him live in a flat together." Ginny lost her playfulness. " Didn't you know?"
He felt a weak smile come to his lips and he shook his head. Running a hand through his hair, stopping midway, he connected eyes with Ginny.
" I never know."
She danced her way into his room, with her hair flying and her nightgown whipping at her legs from the icy breeze. All he saw were snowflakes flying into the room from his open window and swirling around her, like some sort of magic.
" You've been drinking again," She observed.
But within a moment he didn't remember her saying anything and stood from his spot on the floor, causing everything spin and her to rush toward him. He grabbed her arms, steadying himself, giving her a bright smile that hurt his face.
" 'here's your Mum, love?" Remus whispered, so close to her face that she could probably smell the alcohol he had drank.
A bottle of Gin was half empty and a bottle of Firewhisky lay empty on the floor. Ginny raised her eyebrows as his vision swam in and out of view.
" She won't be home for a while," Ginny informed him, just as his knees gave out and he collapsed onto the floor, bringing her with him.
" And why's 'hat?" He asked, trying not to burst out into laughter as he stared at her form.
His words were sluggish even to his own ears but he hardly cared. Ginny's eyes narrowed in thoughtfulness before she reached over and grabbed the bottle of Gin.
" Order business," Ginny said simply, bringing the bottle to her lips and taking a large sip of it.
" You, Miss Weasley, are too young to-" Remus paused, forgetting what he was going to say.
" Drink?" She suggested, smiling lightly.
" Yes." He nodded, slightly, before looking out the window.
Snowflakes were still flying into the room and a half moon hung like an ax in the sky. Seeing the stars dotted across the sky reminded him of Ginny's freckles.
Remus waved his hand about slightly and Ginny caught it in her hand, staring at the ring on his one finger. At her curious gaze, Remus grinned stupidly.
" Marauder's ring," He explained, softly. " We each made one. It's the only thing I have left to remember them."
Ginny stayed silent for a moment before releasing his hand. Remus turned back to the window, sighing loudly.
" This alcohol has killed you," Ginny murmured, her voice so close to him.
Remus turned back and looked at her, finding her dangerously near him. Leaning his face closer to hers, he kissed her softly under her left eye and then did the same for the spot under her right eye.
" Your beauty will keep me alive."
She laughed and it rang in his ears. Ginny didn't pull back and neither did he and they were still rather close as she took another sip of Gin. He wondered, briefly, if she realized that she was drinking part of her name.
" This alcohol has killed you," She repeated again. " Why are you doing this to yourself?"
Remus brushed his lips against hers, tasting the alcohol that was still on them, and breathed out, deeply, in content. Ginny was whispering something as he placed another kiss on her lips.
" I have no one to live for."
" Me." Ginny gave his bottom lip a small, personal kiss. " You have to live for me."
He pulled back and considered her. Remus reached out and wrapped one of his hands around the back of her neck, bringing her closer to him.
He placed a soft kiss on her lips, allowing his tongue to trace her bottom lip. But, as quickly as he pulled her to him, he backed away.
" Good night, Ginevra."
Remus stood and wobbled over to his bed, clutching at the bed post to stable himself enough to look back at her. She nodded, seeming to understand something, before she threw the bottle of Gin out the open window.
Her movements were slightly tipsy as she shut the window, locking it. Then she left with one last grin.
They both awoke at the same time and went down for breakfast at the same time. He didn't have a hang over and she didn't bring up the few kisses, so sure that he didn't remember them. When the owl soared into the kitchen, for someone left the window open and neither Ginny nor Remus noticed, Ginny read the letter from Dumbledore out loud to Remus.
" I can go," Remus chuckled, shaking his head. " How did you convince him?"
" He said you needed a day out of this house," said Ginny, who shrugged but smiled.
It was snowing again as they both got ready to go to Diagon Alley. She was wearing her yellow cloak and he was wearing an old, brown coat. They Flooed into Diagon Alley and, as they stepped out of the store they Flooed into and into the streets, their cheeks flushed from the cold.
Shoving his hands in the pockets of his pants, Remus glanced up and down the streets, seeing hardly any people. A snow flake landed his nose and he grinned before wiping it away, taking one of his hands from the warmth of his pant's pocket.
Ginny looked at him in question, as he stood in the middle of the street, not moving. His chest was painfully tight and he looked up and down the streets of Diagon Alley, again. He could almost see the figures of his friends, laughing at something James or Sirius had said.
Lily would be standing where Ginny was, with her hands on her hips and an eyebrow raised in anger, but her eyes twinkling with amusement. Peter and himself would be laughing so hard that they'd have to clutch at their sides from the pain…
Then James would grab Lily's hand and they'd dance down the street, knocking people out of the way and laughing. It had been some sort of tradition with James and Lily, dancing that is. Sirius had even managed to take a picture of them dancing among leafs in the autumn once.
" Remus?" Ginny called again, taking a step closer to him.
" Can you dance?" He asked.
She raised her eyebrows in confusion but nodded. Lifting his numbing hand, he bowed.
" Dance with me?" Ginny seemed to be suppressing a laugh before she nodded and curtsied.
Ginny placed her hand in his and he wrapped his long fingers around her hand. As she placed a hand on his shoulder, he put his free hand on her waist and before they knew it, they were spinning down the street.
The snow swirled around them as Ginny laughed. Her red hair tickling his face as they continued to dance through the street, somehow not tripping from the snow. Brown, sparkling eyes looked up at him.
" You dance well, Mr. Lupin," She told him.
Remus smiled down at her as he stopped, releasing his hold on her waist so that she continued to spin. When Ginny stopped, she turned her pink face toward him and smiled before he pulled her back toward him.
The snow was falling more heavily now as her small body came close to his. Her hair was knotty from all the spinning and the snow but it looked wonderful as it surrounded her face. Ginny's lips curled into a smile as she placed her free hand on his chest.
" Do you usually dance in the street with women you hardly know?" Ginny inquired.
" I was simply caught up in my memories." At her questioning gaze, Remus leaned down, his lips brushing her ear. " James and Lily use to dance wherever they were. Can't let that practice die, can we?"
" Of course not," Ginny said as he leaned back slightly, intertwining their fingers. " But I hope I'll be your only dancing partner."
" Most likely." Remus grinned before looking around. " Let's get a Butterbeer?"
" How about Hot Cocoa?" Ginny winked at him before dragging him into a store.
" So Bill gets you jewelry, Charlie gives you dragon leather, Percy gives you books, Fred and George give you prank objects, Ron gives you a years worth of pictures, Hermione gives you books, also, and Harry gets you?"
Ginny was laughing as she dragged her fingers along one of the store's shelves. After finishing their hot Cocoa, they began searching for the Christmas present that Remus was to buy Ginny. Of course, it would be rather hard, for her brothers covered most of the things to buy a girl.
" Harry gets me chocolates," Ginny told him, laughter still in her voice.
Remus was walking behind her, glancing at the objects on the shelf while watching her back. She flipped her head around and looked at him, smiling.
" Chocolates?" Remus said, mock snorting. " Isn't that what boyfriends give their girlfriends?"
It was Ginny's turn to snort and she looked back in front of her, turning a corner and going on the other side of the shelf. Remus could clearly see her through the rows of shelves and he stopped walking when he saw her form on the other side. She pushed some sort of toy out of the way so their eyes could connect and he bent lower, for she was slightly shorter.
" Not in this case," Ginny told him and Remus smiled, showing his teeth.
" Let me see your hand?"
Ginny lifted her hand and he reached through the opening of the shelf, taking it, to bring it closer to his face. The red haired witch was laughing and wiggling her fingers.
" Hurry, this is awkward for my arm!" She said, laughing.
" You wear no rings," Remus noticed, flipping her hand over so that the palm faced upward.
As his fingers traced the lines on her palm, he tried to remember if she wore any other jewelry. All he could remember was the thing she held yesterday when he called her Ginevra…
" And you only wear one necklace." Remus raised an eyebrow and their eyes linked again. " Where is all this jewelry that Bill gives you?"
Ginny grinned, and tugged at her hand, trying to get it back. Remus' other eyebrow raised and Ginny giggled.
" At home in a box. I wear the jewelry to parties and such," She answered him.
Remus leaned down and kissed the palm of her hand before releasing it. Ginny took it back as he walked to the other side of the shelf. She was looking at the other shelf now, which contained more toys.
" What are we, Remus?" Ginny questioned, not looking at him.
He felt something cold grab his stomach and he frowned in puzzlement. What did she mean?
" Are we friends?" She pressed on, now looking at him.
" I would hope so," Remus began slowly.
If Sirius were in his spot, he could almost hear his laughing voice say 'Or else I wouldn't be buying you a present!'. But he wasn't Sirius and he knew this was something Ginny wanted to discuss, even if it was in the middle of a wizard toy store.
" You kissed me last night, do you remember?" Remus stopped walking toward her.
Of course he remembered. He remembered the way her mouth tasted of alcohol and how he thought that she shouldn't taste like that. Remus remembered waking up and thinking 'Our first kiss was when I was piss faced drunk' then thinking 'Why did I expect a first kiss?'.
He nodded to Ginny and she tilted her head as she looked at him. Her tongue darted out and licked her lips.
" Friends don't kiss each other, Remus," She murmured but he heard her. " What would you do if I kissed you right now, then?"
Ginny was making her way over to Remus and he met her half way but they didn't touch each other. She was nervous but curious, Remus could see, and she wanted to know the truth.
" I'd kiss you back."
At that a fleeting smile came to her lips before she stood on her tip toes to press her mouth against his. He grabbed her face in his hands, his thumbs rubbing her freckled cheeks. His mouth moved against hers and she sighed against his lips. A moment later she opened her mouth against his and he followed suit, his tongue slipping into her mouth.
Ginny was only seventeen and was still in Hogwarts but, honestly, Remus didn't care. She might go back to Hogwarts, when Christmas vacation was over, and forget all about him and he wouldn't care. Remus needed her right now, he would admit it, and he didn't want to give her up.
Ginny forced herself to pull back, her breathing hard and cheeks flushed, but not from the cold. A smile caught her lips and she didn't even know it.
" What are we now?" She asked.
" Whatever you want us to be," Remus grinned.
They had gone back to the Headquarters after that, Remus not buying Ginny anything. The house wasn't empty, though, when they Flooed into the study. In fact, there were several Weasleys there.
" Happy Christmas," Bill said, smirking.
" Bill! What are you doing here?"
Ginny rushed up to her oldest brother, jumping into his arms. Molly was standing beside Bill and Charlie sat in one of the chairs. Remus could hear Fred and George's loud laughter from outside the door.
" It's Christmas tomorrow, remember?" Charlie chuckled and Ginny shrieked when she saw him, before running over and hugging him also. " The whole family's here."
" Really thought we'd leave you in this horrid place alone, Ginny?" Bill asked, looking around the study with a wrinkled nose.
Remus felt a slight ping at the words of Ginny's brother. They had left him alone. And Ginny wasn't alone… He was here, with her.
A sad smile filled his lips and he backed away from the giggling sister and laughing brothers and proud mum. He turned and walked out of the study, ignoring the looks that Fred and George gave him as he walked down the hallway.
They were looks of pity, he knew, and sadness. Remus shook his head as the twin's whispers reached his ears.
" Poor Lupin."
She was running outside to greet three people, Remus saw from his closed window. Had she easily forgotten him at the sight of other people? Remus saw that the three people were Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
Remus turned away from the window and walked over to his dresser, opening it quickly and looking at the variety of alcohol. Would he be alone again? Did he need to drink- Remus blinked, slowly, at his own thoughts and backed away from the dresser. Since when had he become dependent on alcohol?
Angry with himself, he marched out of his room. If he weren't to drink, how was he going to get his thoughts away from Ginny? He just needed a way to numb himself…
" Harry! It's good to see you!" Ginny informed her friend and he grinned. " Get me a present, did you?"
Ginny eyed the presents in the man's arms dramatically and laughed when she saw Harry roll his eyes. He placed all the presents under the tree that Bill and Charlie bought from some Muggle tree farm.
" Greedy little girl," He growled out mockingly.
Harry took a look around number 12 Grimmauld Place and sighed, the action seeming to cause him so much pain. Ginny tilted her head in confusion and he shrugged.
" This is where… this is where Sirius use to live. I don't know how Remus stands being stuck in here day in and day out."
Ginny's neck snapped straight at that and her eyes widened. Remus… Oh Merlin, how did she ever forget about him? She left him! And he had said he drank because he was always so lonely…
She never understood him when he said he was lonely, for there was always someone there but people always forgot he was there. A small cry crawled up her throat as she turned from Harry, racing through the living room and up the stairs.
" Remus? Remus!" Ginny pushed open his bedroom door but saw that his bedroom was empty.
His wand lay forgotten on the table, as did his coat, and she felt her inside freeze up slightly. He wasn't in his room… where was he then?
" MUM! MUM! WHERE'S REMUS!" She screamed at the top of her lungs.
An hour later, she found herself trudging through the snow in the backyard of the house. All the Weasley were alerted of Remus' absence in the house, that his wand was still in his room, and searched the house. Ginny found that her hands were shaking.
She was stupid, so stupid! Her mind yelled at her as her brown eyes scanned the area.
Harry seemed particularly worried, which caused something to tug in her mind. All the while that Remus thought he and Harry had no sort of father-son relationship or friendship, he was wrong. The younger boy was almost as worried as Ginny.
Ginny felt a sob begin to escape her mouth when she realized he wasn't in the backyard. It was still snowing and she could hardly see but, surely, he would have said something by now if he were back here-
Ginny barely heard the whisper of her name but it still caught her attention. Turning around in a circle, Ginny yelled Remus' name, searching for any sign of him. And then she saw an arm lift in the air from the ground.
Running toward the arm, she found herself stumbling to her knees when she saw Remus. His eyes were closed and his lips were blue and his cheeks were so pale that Ginny felt her eyes begin to water. She took his hand in her own.
" What are you doing, Remus?" She whispered, whipping her head toward the house to see if anyone was by the door. " What are you doing to yourself? What are you doing to me?"
" I've gone insane." Remus muttered, opening his eyes slowly. " You've driven me insane."
" Have not." Ginny hissed, placing her free hand on his cheek.
It was as cold as the snow that lay on the ground.
" HARRY! HE'S OUT HERE!" Ginny didn't know if Harry would hear her cry but she hoped so.
She wasn't going to leave Remus' side again, not ever. A whimper escaped her mouth as his eyes fluttered shut.
" This numb," He breathed out. " Is sort of painful."
Ginny kissed him on the lips before releasing her hold on his cheek to take out her wand. She wasn't sure what sort of spell she could perform, though, that wouldn't send him into shock.
" Ginny! Ginny! Molly, he's out here! Remus!"
Ginny turned her head again and saw that Harry was running out with Ron along side of him. Those two would always be together, she thought briefly.
Harry rushed up to her side, dropping on his knees also. His emerald eyes seemed to lose some light as he saw that state of Remus. Ron gave a startled intake of breath.
" He doesn't deserve this," Harry whispered.
" Let's get him inside, Harry, Ginny," Ron said, taking control.
Ron bent down and took Remus' body in his arms. Harry and Ginny stood at the same time and the three of them ran back into the house.
" Ginny, go open your presents and then you can come back up with him-"
" No! I'm not leaving him, Dad, I told you that already!"
He didn't want to open his eyes, Remus knew, but he should. Ginny was worried about him. Even if it were just for a second.
" Madam Pomfrey and Severus said that Remus would be fine. He just needed his rest and hot fluids."
" And I'll be watching over him while he rests and I'll be the one to give him the hot fluids." Ginny's voice gave her father no room to argue.
Remus heard a door open and close and he chose that moment to open his eyes. Right away, he saw Ginny's red hair, pulled back in a messy bun. Her hand was holding onto his and her eyes were closed in exhaustion.
Dark, black circles were under her eyes and her mouth was set in a frown, even as she tried to rest. Remus blinked tiredly and rubbed his thumb over her fingers, causing her to awake immediately.
" Remus!" She cried out, her brown eyes wide. " Oh, Remus."
She whimpered as she brought his hand up to her lips. He hardly felt her lips on his skin as he closed his eyes again.
" I'm sorry," He managed to whispered.
" Me too."
It took him less then a minute to fall asleep again.
When he awoke again, he was alone but he could hear voices outside of his bedroom door. Remus felt stronger and wondered what Madam Pomfrey had used on him to give him his strength back. Sitting up, Remus rubbed a hand over his eyes, causing him to realize he was no longer wearing his Marauder's ring.
Somehow he must have lost it. The thought caused him to frown deeply.
"-it's not your fault, Harry." Ginny's familiar voice filled Remus' thoughts and he looked toward his bedroom door. " He was just lonely."
" Remus should have never been lonely," Harry's voice said angrily. " I could have been there. I remember he tried, tried so hard to talk to me…"
" Harry, stop! I'm sure Ron and Hermione want to see you and I'm going to go back to Remus… Yes, I know."
Ginny stepped into the room, shutting the door behind her. Her eyes automatically went to Remus' form and he could swear she stopped breathing when she saw him sitting up.
" Are you feeling okay?" She asked, coming over to him.
" My Marauder's ring," He blurted out. " I lost it-"
His words got caught in his throat when he saw Ginny hold up a familiar ring. She smiled lightly and held out her hand for him to take it. Its blue jewel gleamed in the light and caused Remus to smile also.
Remus placed his hand on top of Ginny's, her fingers closing around the ring and his fingers closing around her hand. She looked at him with raised eyebrows.
" Happy Christmas," He said and a blush covered Ginny's cheeks.
" I can't take this! This is your ring, the Marauder ring-"
" And I want you to have it. As the last Marauder, I am allowed to give that ring to whoever I wish." Remus lifted his other hand and brushed some red strands of hair from Ginny's forehead, allowing his fingers to linger.
" You don't know what you're saying," She whispered. " But I'll keep it. And when you're in the right state of mind, and ask me for it back, I'll give it back."
" I'll never ask for it back." Remus promised.
There was silence before Remus leaned over and kissed her on the lips. She kissed him back, not hesitating.
" I go back to Hogwarts in five days," She told him, her words against his lips. " What am I suppose to do without you?"
" Live your life," Remus told her. " If you miss me, you have my ring. More of the worry should be on me."
At Ginny's wide, terrified eyes and blushing cheeks, Remus grinned, kissing her on the lips again. She was worried for him, again.
" I have nothing of yours to remember you with, is all," He spoke.
" Oh!" Ginny's blush deepened and she turned around, snagging something from the floor. " Happy Christmas."
She handed him a sweatshirt, with a large, brown R in sown in the middle of it. The sweatshirt itself was gray and, when Remus' fingers brushed across the fabric, he realized how soft it was. He could almost smell Ginny's smell on it.
" You made this?" He asked.
" I thought that was your mother's job?" Remus laughed. " Thank you."
Three hours later, Remus found himself in the company of Ginny and Harry, eating Christmas dinner. It was an unspoken agreement that none of them would speak of him going outside but Remus knew that Ginny would speak to him about it later.
Of course, that didn't stop Harry from asking about their relationship. Ginny was blushing madly as Harry spoke.
" A mother hen, she is," Harry said, grinning at Ginny. " Particularly around you, I've noticed."
Ginny elbowed Harry, glaring at him but not saying anything. Remus shook his head in amusement.
" I can be a 'mother hen' to whomever I wish, Potter," She growled out with a tight grin, showing off all her teeth.
" She's just good at taking care of me," Remus said.
" Ginny!" George burst into the room, causing the three to look up at him, shocked. " Percy's come and decided to eat Christmas dinner with us."
Ginny gave a surprised, angry yelp and rushed out of her seat, following George out the door. It was a known fact that each of the Weasley wanted a punch at Percy for putting their family in such pain during Ginny's fourth year of Hogwarts.
Harry turned to Remus and they shared an amused glance. Remus mashed his potatoes and turkey together as Harry cleared his throat uncomfortably.
" I think she loves you," Harry said and Remus looked at him.
" Maybe," Remus responded in a soft voice.
" Do you love her?" Harry asked.
Remus paused and took a deep breath.
At that word, Harry grinned like a child. Remus loved Ginny, he could tell.
" How did you two manage to fall in love in five days?"
" She drove me insane, crashing into my life," Remus told Harry, truthfully. " And I love her for it."
Author's Note: Wow. I'm done, finished it in one and a half days. How do you like it? 24 pages of hard work! Review!