Missing Piece of the Puzzle
Author: Fics by Fumph
Rating & Warnings: K/PG
Prompts: Beatles prompt: Don't Ever Change: "You never wear a suit of lace/the powder's not on your face./You're always wearing jeans/except on sunday./So please don't ever change."
Word Count: 1,721
Summary: Wedding bells.
Author's Notes: Pure fluff. I hope it works! Beta by the wonderful Aggiebell. Thanks, hon!
Remus was fully aware of the bittersweet irony inherent in the fact that his marriage was taking place on what would have been Lily and James Potter's 18th wedding anniversary.
He stood at the kitchen sink of the Burrow, sipping contemplatively from a cup of chamomile tea and staring out at the garden, watching the flurry of activity.
Molly was bustling around beneath the trees, fussing with the golden ribbons and roses she had used to decorate the trunks, despite protestations from Remus that he and Tonks wanted a simple ceremony. Ginny was trailing in her wake and scattering petals on the grass, her face paler and more drawn than a fifteen-year-old girl's should be, her red hair a shocking contrast to her white skin. Assorted male Weasleys were arranging chairs in a semi-circle, Hermione standing to one side and giving them directions.
'Nervous, Remus?' a quiet voice asked from behind him, and he turned to see Arthur Weasley leaning against the counter, his arms crossed over his chest. 'No need to be. I'm sure you'll find marriage to your liking.'
Remus set his empty cup down in the sink, and shook his head. 'No, I'm not nervous, not in the slightest. I'm just thinking about the people who should be here, but aren't.'
The list was too long. His parents, Sirius, James, and Lily – without them, he felt like a jigsaw puzzle missing several pieces. Dumbledore had joined the list just three weeks earlier, and that loss was responsible for the pall of solemnity that hung over the Weasley residence.
Arthur touched his shoulder fleetingly, giving it a brief squeeze. 'I tried to persuade Moody to let Harry come, but he wasn't having any of it. He's adamant that it would be too dangerous.'
'He's right,' said Remus, turning to once again gaze out of the window. 'As much as I'd love to have him stand up with me, Harry is too important for us to risk exposing him unnecessarily, just for a wedding. He'll understand.'
Arthur joined him at the sink, watching his wife and daughter as they worked side by side. The two women were talking, and as Molly reached out to caress her daughter's hair, Arthur sighed. 'Ginny and Harry were courting, did you know that?'
Surprised, Remus raised an eyebrow and looked at the other man. 'No, I didn't. "Were", you say?'
'Ginny hasn't said much, but Ron told us that Harry ended the relationship at Dumbledore's funeral. Harry apparently believes that Ginny would be at risk if Voldemort found out that she was important to him.' Arthur gave a wry chuckle. 'I admire the boy for thinking of my darling girl's safety, but the very fact that she bears the name Weasley is cause enough for any Death Eater to target her.'
Remus echoed the chuckle. 'It seems Harry has inherited his father's misguided sense of nobility.'
Arthur gave him a knowing look. 'I rather think Harry may have learned by example, Remus. You've certainly displayed a rather impressive amount of 'misguided nobility' yourself.'
'Dora soon thrashed that out of me. You can only argue with my beautiful wife-to-be for so long before she begins hexing you, and then you give in out of self-defence.' Remus couldn't help but smile widely as he spoke of his fiancée. 'I'm looking forward to future thrashings, as I'm sure that I still have more than my fair share of nobility left in me.'
Arthur shook his head, a wry grin on his face. 'She's a force of nature, your girl. You have a special one there.'
Laughing, Remus nodded his agreement. 'Don't I know it. She's been threatening to show up for our wedding wearing her jeans. Her mother has been wailing about how unfeminine she is for weeks.' He paused for a moment. 'To be frank, she could turn up wearing one of Mundungus's dirty old robes and I wouldn't notice, or care. When she walks into the room, everything else pales in comparison.'
The expression of amusement on Arthur's face suddenly softened into one of understanding. 'And that's the way it should be. Molly still takes my breath away, and we've been married coming up on twenty years.'
As Arthur spoke, Molly entered the kitchen, pink-cheeked and hectic. 'Remus, Andromeda just arrived, and she says that Tonks and Ted are about to Apparate to the front of the house. We're all ready for you.'
Remus squared his shoulders and took a deep breath, his stomach churning with anticipation. After all the months of fighting against the fact that he had fallen for Dora, he was finally ready to make a commitment to her, and he couldn't wait to put the ring on her finger.
Molly and Ginny's hard work preparing the garden had paid off – it looked beautiful and serene, just a dozen chairs ringed around a flower-entwined bower, under which stood the officiating Wizard.
Sitting in the chairs were Bill, his proud, wounded face smothered in healing balm, Fleur tucked under his arm; Ron was sitting next to Hermione, their heads together as they whispered fiercely about something. The twins, resplendent in the lurid pink robes of their shop, had laughter on their lips and faces; and Ginny, sitting between her mother and father, looked shockingly fragile. Hagrid sat next to them as a representative of Hogwarts, and the remaining two chairs were reserved for Ted and Andromeda Tonks.
Remus took his place beneath the bower, standing alone as he waited for his bride. He'd chosen not to have a Best Man – there were only three people he wanted to stand up with him, and two of them were dead, and the third was sequestered in a Sussex housing estate.
Soft music filled the air, and Remus looked behind him to see Dora walking into the garden, her father on one arm, her mother on the other. Andromeda left them as they walked towards the bower, slipping into her seat with her eyes fixed firmly on her daughter.
Dora had never looked more beautiful. She moved with a serene elegance, her usual coltish clumsiness replaced with a grace he'd never seen in her before. Her dress was simple and flattering, the white silk clinging to her slim frame before flaring out at her knees, and she wore a sprig of gypsophila at her breast.
As Dora moved towards him, her gaze never left his, and her mouth was curved into a soft smile. Her hair was longer than usual, and swept back from her face; one bright pink lock had escaped to curl against her cheek.
Remus extended his hand as Dora and Ted reached his side, and she entwined her fingers with his, her palm cool and dry and her grip steady.
As they turned to face the Wizard that would marry them, Remus ran his thumb across the back of Dora's hand, her skin soft beneath his. He leaned in towards her until his lips were close enough to graze the shell of her ear. 'You look beautiful,' he whispered, and he smiled to see her give a little shiver at the sound of his voice.
'Thanks,' she murmured. 'Fringe benefit of marrying a Metamorphmagus. I can look bloody gorgeous if I want to.' Her features began to cycle rapidly through different faces, and when Remus nudged her in the ribs, she laughed, before settling her face back into the one he knew so well.
The Wizard in front of them cleared his throat, and they both blushed, turning their attention back to the proceedings.
The ceremony was over within what seemed like a heartbeat, and silvery stars were still falling around their shoulders as they leaned forward to mark their union with a kiss.
It didn't take long to make the rounds of the dozen people that had witnessed their marriage, and Remus was soon ensconced in a garden chair, his brand new wife cradled in his lap and feeding him wedding cake.
'Molly makes wonderful cake,' he commented, just before Dora shoved a massive forkful of cake into his mouth.
'Don't get used to it, I'm a rubbish cook. I have other talents to make up for that, though.' She wiggled just enough to make him uncomfortable, and he gripped her waist in an effort to stop her.
'Stop that, otherwise you'll drive me to the point of distraction,' he scolded her, once he'd stopped choking on the mouthful of fruit cake.
Dora pouted, then settled in against his chest. 'Fine, you bloody spoilsport. I'll save the lap dance for when we're alone. You don't let me have any fun.'
'Sirius might have regarded foreplay in public as fun, but I'm afraid this staid old man believes that some things should stay behind closed doors,' he said, pressing his cheek to the top of her cerise head. 'By the way, I'm glad you gave in and wore the dress. You look lovely.'
She tilted her head back to look at him, and he caught a glimpse of mischief in her eyes. 'Now you're officially mine, you have to keep my secrets, right?'
'Right,' he agreed cautiously. 'What secret do I need to keep?'
Dora put on a big show of looking around the garden, then raised one leg and pulled back the hem of her dress to show a length of denim clad leg. 'I rebelled. I wore the dress to keep Mum happy, and the jeans to keep me happy.' She settled the silk back into place, and grinned widely at him. 'You won't grass on me to Mum?'
Remus took her face between his hands, and kissed her soundly, laughing as he did so. 'I love you, Nymphadora Lupin. Don't ever change, understand? Promise me we'll still be laughing when we're old and grey.'
She smiled against his lips, her hands coming up to clasp his. 'You're already old and grey, Remus, but I promise you that I'll always give you plenty to laugh about,' she teased.
Remus wrapped her in his arms and held her close, and she slipped her hand into his robes, her palm warm against his chest.
All of a sudden, the missing puzzle piece snapped into place, and he was complete. The aching hole that had been present in his life for sixteen years was gone; Dora had seeped into his soul and filled up every little gap she had found.
He was whole again.