Summary: Cho Chang's life is said to be perfect. And, indeed, it seems perfect. Until you look into her eyes. Her lying eyes.
Disclaimer: Remus and Cho belong to J.K. Rowling, Lyin' Eyes belongs to the Eagles, and John belongs to me.
Author's Note: I have had this idea in my head for so very long; I am surprised that it took this long to actually sit down, put this song on repeat, and write.
Cho Chang had tried, for a very long time, to forget Cedric Diggory. And when she did, she sobbed, and tried to forget Harry Potter. She had thought she had been in love with each of the boys, each innocent and spectacular in their own way. That had been a long time ago.
She wiped at her face now, staring at her reflection in the dimly lit mirror of her vanity, makeup spilling clumsily from the drawers and a nylon hanging lazily out of the bottom drawer. She thought about him for a long time; saw his blonde hair flopping lazily into his eyes as he slept beside her, their fair limbs entwined. She shook her head and said to herself, vehemently, "No. Not now,"
Unwittingly, she found her thoughts straying over that day, years ago. It had been pouring down rain in London, as per usual, and she had been walking through the streets, feeling dead inside.
She had stopped outside a warm looking bakery, inhaling the rich smells wafting from the door that constantly opened and closed. She closed her eyes, exhaled a deep, shaky breath, and shivered deeply.
"Ma'am? Are you going to come inside?" She opened her eyes and looked at the man who addressed her. A hat was pressed low onto his brow, but she could see by his coat and jacket that he was not especially rich, or for that matter, young. She smiled at him on instinct, and she sensed a warm aura radiate from him.
"I think I will," She said, trying to look into his eye. She Mona Lisa smiled at him, and the door to the bakery opened for her, the man holding it open expectantly. "Thank you," she murmured, and walked into the door, inhaling deeply the heady perfumes of the breads that assaulted her.
He followed her in, shutting the door behind him with a small jingle of the bell. She sat down at a table in the corner, crossing her legs and shaking off her trench coat, pretending to feel demure as the coat came off and revealed her curvaceous figure.
"Your face… it looks so familiar."
She jerked her head up, and tried to see past the shabby brim of his hat. "I cannot imagine why, sir, unless you can take off your hat and I can feel the same inquisitive feeling that we've met before."
He hesitated for only a short moment, and then removed the cap from his hat. His sandy hair was becoming salted with gray hair, and his face was prematurely aged.
"My," she said, recognizing him at once, "Remus Lupin, it is indeed a pleasant surprise to meet an old teacher of mine."
His mouth quirked into a small smile, and he pulled out a chair across from her. "Cho Chang. Indeed, it has been a very long time. I hope you have been well since… the war?"
No one dared to mention the war in public anymore. There had been so many losses to each side, and many were still jittery when they thought of it.
"I've been… well." She gave him a hard look over. "You look much better since I last saw you. Tell me, did you take that experimental Wolfsbrew?"
"Is it so easy to notice?" he said, without any humor.
"You don't look like you've been sick lately…"
"I didn't just try it, I invented it. It worked better than I ever imagined."
She laid a hand on his arm, and squeezed, smiling warmly at him. He smiled back, instinctively.
They talked for hours upon hours that day, until the pouring down rain turned into snow and the baker kicked them out. They walked about the city in their own bubble, separated from both the Muggle and Wizarding world.
And days after that, weeks, months, they spent solely together, learning all about each others pasts, their presents, what they hoped for the future. Remus, it seems, struck it rich with the Wolfsbrew potion, which once taken, rid the body completely of their werewolf side. He did not really want to appear rich to the everyday passerby, though. To him it seemed that showing apparent wealth on a person showed them to be stuck-up, snobbish, and he did not need that. He preferred to look dirt poor, even if he got noses stuck in the air and walking far around him to have it the way he wanted.
Then, on a not so special day, he had kissed her, she had kissed him back, and while they kissed, he slipped a ring on her finger. The look in her eyes when they broke apart said everything he needed to know.
She looked herself over that day, deciding what she could possibly wear for a wedding to the last remaining infamous Marauder.
Lace. The thought had jumped into her head suddenly, hitting her so hard over that she fell onto the edge of her bed. She closed her eyes for a moment, and had a vision of herself on her father's arm, a splendid dress of lace wrapped neatly about her body. She opened her eyes and smiled. Yes, lace. She would dress up all in lace and go in style.
She wiped a tear from her eye, years after the wedding, so many long years.
Her mascara was trying to run, and she took a deep breath.
"Stop it. There's no need to cry."
A door opened a long way away, and she froze, hearing it. Loud footfalls were heard, and she hurriedly put a warm trench coat on over her jeans, fluffing her hair and patting her cheeks. She hurried down the stairs, catching Remus half way down it.
"Remus," She said, kissing his cheek and shivering as she feels his hands slide familiarly around her waist. They were always so cold. "I have to go see an old friend of mine, Serene. I have told you about her, haven't I? Her husband just left her, and I was planning to spend a night full of chick flicks and ice cream with her. Is that okay?"
"Of course," He murmured, stepping up a step on the stairs, looking down at her. "You'll be careful, won't you?"
"Always," He nodded to her, and she smiled in return, her old girlish smile that could make any man melt. She hurried down the steps, and out the grand entrance, slamming the doors closed. He heard her car rev up a few moments later and speed out of their estate.
He sighed bitterly. He knows Serene, he has talked to her, not that either of them have told Cho that. And he knows that she has never been married, or that she has even found a man to make such a large commitment to. Cho, it seemed, was headed to the cheating side of town.
John paced in his small apartment, a half empty bottle of whiskey settled in a small pail on a table nearby. She was late, so very late, and he wondered in a far off part of his mind if she would ever come.
He had to tell her something very important that night. He sat down on the crumpled looking bedspread, putting his head in his hands. Her engine revved into the gravel outside, idled for a moment, and finally cut. He did not need to stand; she had a key.
The door opened quickly, and she kicked it shut with her heel. He looks up at her in the dimness, his eyes burning with lust and desire. She runs to him and he stands to catch her, their lips connecting with each other in a hungry passion, and then commence in the dance that people have done for ages.
Their limbs are entangled together in the sheets, his mouth lazily kissing her collarbone, shoulder, the curve of her breast. Her arms are wrapped around his neck, her eyes closed in a silent bliss.
She opens her eyes and turns her head, shivering as she feels his lips press against her hot skin, his breath gently blowing against her skin, making her feel small and vulnerable. The numbers stood out coldly in the blackness, and she sighed and struggled to untangle herself from John. He gripped her arms loosely, a whimper escaping his lips.
"I have to," she says, staring into his eyes deeply.
"How much longer will this go on? Going behind his back?"
"It's only for a while," she whispers, kissing his eyelids and then pressing her cheek against his.
"It's always only been a while. How long until what you say is the truth?"
"Soon," she says, swearing. "Soon, I'll be back forever,"
"Do you promise?" She looks at him, sees the innocence and the slight sheen of him being scared glittering in his eyes.
"I promise," she pulls herself away from him, dresses, and leaves his apartment, leaving him naked in his bed with a dazed smile.
She took a long swig of some rum she found in her secret refrigerator in her dressing room, and held her head down, letting the hard liquor wash over her. What had happened to her?
For a moment, her slightly tipsy mind went over to Harry. Harry, who never was very cruel to her. Harry who helped her, who kissed her with love, when she came to him crying over Cedric.
What had happened to her? When did her life become so crazy? Her life had been slightly normal for a twenty-three year old until she had remade her relationship with Remus Lupin. She was beautiful, had a job that she did not like too much but loved enough to stay with, and loyal and loving friends. Now… now she could see her beauty slowly seeping away, and she felt so old. She was only thirty, and Remus forty-nine, but she felt so much older.
She felt so different from the girl she had once been. The girl who had been funny, flirtatious, smart, witty and was willing to do anything once. Now, stuck in one relationship that was so cold, and another that was so hot the flame would soon go out, she felt hopelessly young, vulnerable, and lost.
However, she reasoned with herself, she was acting silly. She was still that girl. Her marriage simply did not let it show as often. She dried her eyes, took another deep swig, and shook her limbs, preparing to sleep with her husband in their large ornate bed, trying to keep the thought of John's cramped, rumpled sheets spilling around her body from her mind.