She's Got A Way

She's got a way of pleasing,

And I don't know why it is, but there doesn't have to be a reason- anyway

"Are you falling for my baby cousin?"

"What?" He stares at him over a page of the Prophet with a characteristically furrowed brow.

"You heard me." He barks out a laugh. "I'm saying, if you aren't, you should tell her because she's smitten with you. It's Lizzie McKinnon all over again." This in reference to a girl a few years under them at Hogwarts who, until she and the rest of her family were murdered, was Remus' first and only stalker.

"I'm not falling for anyone. Why would I be…?"

He laughs again. "Why would you? Trust you to ask that, Moony."

"She's smitten?"

"Are you interested?"

"Possibly."

"Honestly, Moony, when are you going to get over the fact that- what?"

"I'm not saying it again." He turns back to his newspaper with an air of finality. While Sirius is still howling with laughter; he thinks about pink hair and whether this can possibly be a good idea.

She's got a smile that heals me

I don't know why it is, but I have to laugh when she reveals me

"Come." She takes his hand and pulls him along, not allowing for doubt or protest. "You shouldn't be alone tonight." She quietly leads him through the castle that has gone silent with shock, past portraits whose inhabitants are pale and disbelieving, past horror-struck ghosts and, eeriest of all, Peeves, who is silently chucking Gryffindor rubies into a corner without a trace of glee.

She tugs his hand a little tighter, and he finds his fingers tracing the outlines of hers. He thinks about what Minerva said, and he knows she's right. All Dumbledore ever wanted for anyone was hope, love, the promise of healing and a new life. It seems like this promise has returned to him tonight, saying "And I don't care either, I don't care!" He marvels at the blisters that have formed around her wand fingers, those weren't there last year. Her fingers trace a new, still pink scar in his palm; he can hear her sharp intake of breath.

"Dora," he says, "I can't. Not tonight."

"You have to," she says, simply. "I'm not letting you go anywhere alone. I'll sleep on the couch and we don't have to talk about anything, but you're not staying alone." And she stares at him with all the stubbornness and severity she has left in her. "I swear, Remus, I'll hex you if you don't stop being such a complete arse."

He can't help it; the tiniest of smiles tiptoes over his face. She sees it, and somewhere, a place beyond her red-rimmed eyes and the deep shadows below them, she finds the strength to shyly smile back at him.

She's got a way of talking

Don't know why it is, but it lifts me up when we are walking anywhere

"Remus, come on!" She says, tugging on his arm, almost walking into a bus stop as tries to maneuver them both along a crowded London sidewalk. "We'll be late; we don't want to miss them."

This was her idea, of course. Her idea to go and give Harry some comfort, show him none of them blamed them for Sirius' death. She was the one who forced him to go, reminding him that Harry needed him, now more than ever. He doesn't believe a word of it; he knows that this has ripped a hole in both their hearts that nothing will ever heal, but listening to her say it, when she's still limping and she's been crying with him, does seem to make it better.

And now she's almost laughing at Mad-Eye's costume, and there's a familiar twinkle in her eye that seems to take some of the weight off his shoulders, that makes his day more colorful, and not just because she woke up this morning in his arms and her hair, which had been lanky and brown the first few days after the battle, was back to bubblegum pink.

He follows her through London, and tries to laugh along with her. And he puts off doing what he has to do, because he doesn't think he'll be able to cut her out of his life just yet.

She comes to me when I'm feeling down

Inspires me without a sound

Touches me- and I get turned around

There's a night in late August, while Dementor mist is pressing heavily against the windowpanes of his room at the Three Broomsticks and he's getting ready to leave for good, for the pack, when she shows up in his fireplace with a stubborn expression on her face and eyes rubbed red. She says something about Amelia Bones and Minerva and needing friends when the days are darkest, and then she kisses him, and it's a kiss of desperation and panic so unlike her that for a split second he's worried she might be an impostor.

She says something about him being her patronus; she says, "Fuck, Remus, I don't want to need you, but it turns out I do."

They make love without saying another word, a tangle of arms and legs and feelings in the way. It feels like they're lost. She leaves at four in the morning, her hair a mousey brown and her eyes devoid of any sparkle.

He doesn't want to need her, but he does. Now that James, Sirius and Peter are gone, now that his parents have died, she's the last person he has left that he feels completely human around. He stares at the dent her head left on his pillow, proof that she was here. Proof that she existed.

Once he's with the pack, his resolve to give her up strengthens. Because he may feel like he's human around her, but he's not.

She's got a way of showing

How I make her feel, and I find the strength to keep on going

The night before Dumbledore's funeral, she makes him stay at her tiny room above Honeydukes again, and this time, he actually sleeps, tucked into her rainbow-colored bedspread while she pretend-snores on the couch. But he wakes up in the middle of the night, and she's slipped into bed next to him, and she's crying.

"I'm sorry," she hiccups, managing a brave smile, "I'm a creepy stalker. Luring you here to have my wicked way with you. Shame on me."

He almost manages a smile, and he takes her in his arms. And she smells like he remembers, like her strawberry shampoo, and he lets her cry herself out and rocks her back to sleep, and as she's snoring in his arms, he realizes, with horrorstruck wonder, that her hair is slowly turning pink again.

When she wakes up, she looks at herself in the mirror and says, "Fuck, fuck, fuck!" And she yells at him for making her need him so much, and she tells him that she hates that he's apparently become what's defining her, and she tells him that this year has been the worst in her life, even worse than when her mother went temporarily insane after Sirius was thrown into Azkaban. She tells him that's she's gone crazy with worry, that she feels a hundred years old sometimes, "and you still think I'm too old for you, you obstinate, cowardly prat!"

He lets her yell herself hoarse, and then he realizes that today is Dumbledore's funeral, and can he really do anything else, in the face of this war and this tragedy, other than give this crazy, clumsy, stubborn, frustratingly childish, annoyingly honest woman the love she deserves? He knows he has it in him. It's her hands, her laugh, that have reminded him that he's someone, when Greyback made it clear that he was vermin.

He takes her in his arms and covers her hair in kisses and tells her how sorry he is.

She's got a light around her

And everywhere she goes, a million dreams of love surround her everywhere

It's Bill and Fleur's wedding, the Burrow's garden is shining like it's never shone before, and they're dancing. He hasn't been able to take his eyes off her all day; she looks so beautiful. Molly took him aside and told him how happy she was for them, how glad she was "that you're both living again, Remus." And he couldn't have found better words for it- it's like his life has been old hold for a year, and hers too, but now they're picking up the pieces, together. She's changed more than he'd realized, the past year has made her more serious, less girlish, when she lets go of her morph she's thin to the point of gauntness. But there's something in her eyes, her smile, that makes him sure that she'll be all right eventually. Her warm body, so alive, waltzing gently to the croon of a French accordion; it's like a promise of a second chance. And he'll be damned if he doesn't use this one, because who knows how long they'll survive this war?

"You want one of these?" He whispers into her ear.

"One of those cheesy things you were eating before?" She mumbles back.

"Well, you can have one of those, but I was thinking of a wedding."

Her eyebrows shoot up and a grin, a genuine grin, spreads over her face. "Remus John Lupin," she whispers, "are you asking me to marry you?"

"I am," he whispers back.

"And I thought I'd have to do it for you." She laughs. "Will you get me one of those cheesy things?"

He frowns at her, taken a back. "Yes, but…"

"Of course I want to marry you, you giant prat. Did you really have to ask?"

She's got a way about her

Oh, I don't know what it is, but I know that I can't live without her