She is staring at him with bright eyes, their colour seeping out of its comfortable brown into a beautifully vivid magenta, wet lashes rimming the pools of color as she stares at him accusingly. Her hair is flashing magenta too, bleeding into the most beautiful scarlet color, but still, he is not listening in her eyes. He will not listen, will not encourage this madness. He will not.

She does not understand the meaning of the word restraint. She is full of life and fire, everything that he ever lacked and it is driving his mind to maddening circles. She reminds him of James and Sirius when they were younger; so mischievous, bright eyes daring him to take that last step. But those days are long past, and Remus knows beyond a doubt that this is not right, that it could never be right. He is too old, to conservative, too… boring. During the day he is all books and studying and boredom, and at night… at night he is something he could not bear for her to see.

She sees something, though. The truth of those words shines like a light in the darkness of her tangled hair, and his heart twists to see her like this. It is as if the death of Sirius has suddenly forced her to realize that at any moment all of it could be torn away with the ease of ripping paper, that nothing is sacred, nothing will ever be sacred until he is dead. She moves through his life like a comet across the night sky, eyes instinctively drawn like a moth to a flame. But it is only live and die; these are the truths of the lives that they lead, and there is nothing beyond the flick of a wand and the shout of a counter curse. As Moody always says, constant vigilance. Neither of them can afford to be distracted, and it doesn't matter anyway because he is too old and too broken for someone as beautiful as her.

"I don't care, you know. I don't care how old you are," she's whispered, and the words echo inside of him, strong as the monster that threatens to take control every time the moon is full.

Who knew that three words could tear his world apart? Three accursed words, they have decimated any chance of solace he had left, nary a chance of anything. The sick fascination he had been hiding for so long; this was it, broken down into those three words she'd whispered and screamed and shouted at him. Now she is staring at him again, those bright eyes fierce with righteous anger and he barely restrains the urge to sweep her up into his arms and brush those tears away with his rough, chapped lips.

"I said I love you, Remus Lupin! Are you listening to me! I love you!" she yells, and before he can stop her she is launching herself at him, her lips fastening themselves to his with the ferocity of the creature he had been trying too hard to protect her from for too long. But he is not trying now; not anymore.