Sips of c h a m p a i n
A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This pairing was discovered by me, so please gimme a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, which you may find in Mor's and my forum, "Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings Fan Stories," found here (Just take out the spaces!): http : / forum. fanfiction. net/ forum /Mew_and_Mors_Weird_Pairings_Fan_Stories /76194 / Read, review, and enjoy! And check out and join the forum FUN! *Note: This is the companion piece to "Angels for Now," which you don't have to read before this. This is more of an in-depth look at the events in the previous story.
Remus John Lupin couldn't believe his ears. He stared back at his son, Teddy. "Beg pardon?"
Teddy's grin widened, happy to have caught his father in surprise. "I mean it. It's been almost ten years since we've been together… I'm going to propose to Roxanne."
The werewolf's face broke into a matching grin. "Teddy, that's wonderful!" He hugged his son around the shoulders and couldn't keep the laugh from his voice. "Wow! Just…wow!"
"I know, right?" The Metamorphmagus shifted his turquoise hair to the color of the red mug in his hands. He took a sip of his hot cocoa. "I've got the ring. I already asked George and Angelina. George was jumping off the walls. Angelina was the one who grilled me," he remarked with a roll of his eyes.
Remus shook his head, his shoulders rolling gently as he quieted his chuckle. "Angelina would," he commented.
"Yeah… So, what do you think of Roxie as a daughter-in-law?"
"Oh, she can reign you in, so it's a win-win in my book."
Remus laughed aloud. "Ah, Ted… I'm proud of you, son." He reached over and rustled his son's hair. "It's about time you made a move with her."
Teddy sighed. "I know, I know… We aren't getting any younger, are we?"
"Then good thing for you you're a wizard. Magical life has its benefits."
"Yeah." Teddy stood up and grabbed his cloak off the back of his chair. "Well, I should probably tidy up my apartment. It's not exactly romantic if there's a pair of smelly knickers in the room, is it?"
Remus scrunched up his nose. "Er, no, Teddy, it's not. Perhaps you ought to ask Angelina or Ginny or someone about cleanliness charms… You'd do well with them."
Teddy agreed and bid his father goodnight. After he left, Remus locked his front door and waved his wand to put up the usual charms and jinxes—but he stopped when someone knocked on the door. Not expecting any more company, he opened the door and found Lily Luna Potter on his front step.
"Hiya, Remmy," she said with a cheeky grin. She let herself in as he sighed.
"Lily Luna…" He shut the door behind her, knowing that when she came for a stay, it was impossible to get her to leave. Not that he wanted her to leave, but still. He followed her into the living room, where she removed her cloak and scarf and kicked off her boots before collapsing onto the couch. "To what do I owe the pleasure of having you here tonight?" he asked with one quirked eyebrow. He leaned against the wall's corner, one hand on his hip.
"It's just two friends, hanging out."
She smiled at her nickname. "I was dropping some dragon skin off at some of the shops in Diagon Alley. Dragon-skin armor, you know. Besides, it's always fun to escape Uncle Charlie—I mean, give Uncle Charlie a break from me." Her teal eyes twinkled with mischief, making her look like a teenager again, not the woman of her late twenties that she was.
Remus got her some fresh cocoa and joined her on the couch. He looked at the thick book on her lap. "What've you got there?"
"A special wizarding edition of The Chronicles of Narnia," she replied. "The pictures move and Aslan roars right off the page."
He took it from her as she leaned against him and he opened it up and stared at the first page. "All seven books in one…not a bad deal." His arm came to rest easily around her as the book settled on his crossed legs. "I take it I'm reading tonight?"
"It's been a long while since we had some down time," Lily replied. "And I like your reading voice. So please read to me, Remmy."
The wizard smiled as her head relaxed against his chest. He began reading, not in the least fazed by the night's events. Just as it was Teddy of Teddy to spring what he had on Remus, it was Lilu of Lily Luna to drop by without a word, expecting time with him just like the old days.
Sure, back then they'd been occasional friends, and Lily had had time to grow up now, but now… He let the night eat his thoughts as the world of C.S. Lewis pushed reality from their minds.
He awoke with a jolt the next morning. The book shifted slightly on his legs but didn't close. Remus looked around him and rubbed his face. What had he been doing last night…?
Oh, right, he thought when Lily Luna stirred. She didn't wake up; in fact, her fingers fisted around a bit of his sweater, her head still perfectly comfortable on his chest. He smiled at the sight. When she had been younger, they had enjoyed time together, either him helping her with assignments or the two of them reading together in the same room. It was only as she'd gotten older that she'd become even more attached to him. Physically, at this point, he thought with a quiet laugh.
His shoulders shook enough to rouse Lily from her slumber. "What time is it…?" she groggily asked.
Remus glanced over the top of her head to get a better look at his watch. "A little past nine."
"Nice… It's been a while since I slept in," she stated, quite proud of herself. "How far'd we get in that thing anyway?"
"We almost finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," he replied. He placed the ribbon bookmark in their place and closed the cover. He fought a yawn. "Are you hungry?"
"I am, but I've gotta go," she said with a small smile. "Rain check?" she asked as she stood and stretched.
He'd expected something like that. As childlike as she'd become in spite of her maturity, her visits these days tended towards "hullo and run." Remus couldn't fault her; he was more surprised she found any time away from Romania, as she was always absorbed in her work.
Lily gathered up her hair and ran a hand through it. "Actually, rain check, and it'll be my treat next time." She smirked. "Be it past simple toast and eggs, breakfast by you can be…erm, surprising."
His face pinked. "I'm not a horrible cook…!"
"Just an…inventive one." She laughed and Remus blushed further when she kissed the top of his head. "But seriously, we'll catch up better next time."
"Siriusly?" he quipped with a grin.
"Oh, Merlin, mate… Please don't start that again!" But she was grinning.
Remus showed her to the door and saw her off. Once the door had closed, he groaned to himself. He couldn't understand how someone like Lily would choose to idle with him and not one of her friends. A voice nagged him, reminding him that they were friends, too, but as he whipped up a batch of porridge, his thoughts strayed to what he knew were…feelings.
He had looked after her, mostly from afar, for much of her life. Out of all the kids of her generation, there was an unidentifiable magnetism to Lily Luna that pushed her into the spotlight in Remus' eye. Lily had magic before she even had magic. And…
Remus paused, his hands on either side of the stove.
Lily had certainly cast her inherent spell on him.
It's sick, isn't it? To like her, that way, he questioned himself. However, he hadn't felt romantically towards her until only a few years ago, the first time after she had started her Dragon Plains job and decided she wanted a reading visit like the one she'd arrived for last night. Even now, he could still recall the first time he'd paused reading—book one of The Belgariad, of all things—when it hit him like a Stunning Spell between the eyes that her shampoo smelled like mint and strawberries. And that her hand on his as he turned the pages—her hand was that of a woman, and her skin was as soft as the well-loved pages of the book.
The wizard closed his eyes, hesitance owning him.
Godric…what could I ever have to offer her?
He pushed those thoughts aside, merely reminding himself that she would have to return his affections for any of his doubts to germinate. In the meantime, his eyes wandered to the old picture on a nearby table of him, baby Teddy, and the late Nymphadora Lupin. Even now, he still wondered how he could love anyone past his wife…
To say it "exploded" would be incorrect. It all began with a BANG!
Remus had honestly thought that Teddy's proposal to Roxanne had been wonderful. Then the couple spun right into planning the wedding, and Remus tried to be as helpful as he could.
"I'm not sure what you want me to do, but I'll chip in," he told Teddy as they left Diagon Alley and searched the local Muggle florists.
Teddy raised his eyebrows. "You…mean that, Dad?"
"Yes, why wouldn't I?"
"Yes!" Remus repeated. He frowned and drew his jacket's collar tighter around his neck. "Why do you keep asking?"
Teddy was quiet a moment. "Dad…your potion isn't exactly cheap." He glanced at his father before returning his eyes to the windows of the passing stores.
The father's frown deepened to a grimace. "The wolfsbane potion became a part of my budget a long time ago, Ted. We've got money in excess of that."
"Sorry. I just—"
"I know what you mean. You were doing a bang-up job of showing concern," Remus stated with a look.
Teddy's cheeks colored. "Hey, I was just saying. I mean, the last thing any of us want is for you to go all Big Bad Wolf at the wedding." He winced, his words coming out harsher than he intended. "Agh, Dad… Shit, I'm not saying any of this right."
"No, I know what you mean. Don't forget that my best friends had some of the best slip-ups in trying to 'carefully' phrase things around me." Remus sighed, expecting the conversation to change.
Instead, Teddy halted, his hand on the glass of one florist's door. "Dad, are you…? For cripes sake, you can be a little too understanding sometimes." He shook his head and scoffed as Remus followed him inside.
"There's nothing wrong with going with the flow, Teddy," Remus said as his son scanned the arrangements. "It avoids conflict—which is a good thing."
Teddy shook his head again. "Actually, Dad, and I'm sure one of your mates probably told you, being complacent can get on other people's nerves, sometimes."
"All right, then. I'm sorry."
The Metamorphmagus cursed in frustration. "Are you kidding me? I just—I turned into a complete arse for a minute, Dad, and you're the one apologizing? Holy Merlin…!"
Remus furrowed his brow. "What do you want me to say, Teddy? Argue with you about my problem? I understood you were thinking about everyone's safety, mine included—"
"No! I don't want you to argue with me, but—but—just stand up for yourself!" Teddy huffed and kept looking between camellias and hibiscuses. "Er, which one?"
"Teddy, life is picking your own battles. And this is one that I choose never to fight, because it gets me nowhere. Not—not my 'problem,' not my 'complacent' attitude, as you put it." He looked at the camellias, which were red. "Those ones."
"Thanks. But sometimes fighting for yourself—honestly, it keeps you on equal ground with the world. It shows the world that you do have a backbone. One that doesn't turn up once a month under a certain moon," he added through gritted teeth.
Remus bit his lip, hurt by his son's last remark. He always had been the one to smooth things over with his friends, the pacifier; even in the eras of both Orders, Remus had been the one to quiet everyone down, to get people to think rationally again. However, now Teddy was starting to get the rise out of him that Teddy had been stating moments ago didn't exist in Remus.
Teddy's annoyance had reached a peak. "Goddamn, Dad, you're not even saying anything." He sighed, out of exasperation and disappointment.
"You didn't give me the chance to say anything."
"If you're so concerned with having an awful piss-ant of a beast for a dad, then…then it's probably good you're marrying." His eyes hardened when Teddy looked at him. "George is a pretty good father, you know."
Teddy's face contorted with anger. "Are you shitting me? You're half pissing yourself, half running with your tail between your legs." He snatched the order form from the curious seller's hands. "If you're going to be that way, then don't bother coming to the wedding."
Remus froze, feeling panicked and angry at once. "…fine," he said, despite his upset. "Don't expect me to help out with any part of the wedding then."
Teddy glared at him until Remus turned around and marched right out of the store. Once he was clear of Muggles, Remus—despite his obvious lack of concentration—twisted and Disapparated from London.
He did not feel so high and mighty, however, when he Apparated home and found himself Splinched.
Once upon a time, in the old days of the first war and the Marauders working for the first Order of the Phoenix, Remus and his friends had been Aurors. Countless times they had Apparated to and fro, hopping cities in the blink of an eye.
One of those times, Sirius and James had been out on detail. Death Eaters had surprised them, and the only safe option at that instance had been to get the hell out. Sirius had yanked James with him, but in his panic he Splinched himself. James was fine; Sirius was in excruciating pain.
Now Remus understood that pain all too well. He cursed and thrashed and dangerously came close to biting down on his tongue. He barely had the presence of mind to use the Summoning Spell to bring essence of dittany to his side, but he managed it, and he dripped a handful of drops into the gaping wound on his disconnected left elbow. He cursed even more bitterly as the potion when to work and tried to mend the muscle and skin.
Luckily, the dittany did its job and Remus was able to wrap his arm—albeit quite painfully—several hours later, when it was well into the night. It took most of his energy just to do so, so the wizard heaved himself onto his couch and tried to get some rest. He didn't want to risk any more magic until he knew he could think straight.
With the last fleeting thought that he—the "caretaker"—had no one there to watch after him…he drifted off into a fitful sleep.
A fever overtook him, and for several days Remus breezed in and out of reality. Half of the time he understood he was in pain and suffering from the healing effects after Splinching; the other half of the time his memories seemed to play out as though they were real and happening right there, before him.
He could see Sirius standing in front of him, James and Peter off to the side, and his best mates told him they knew of his lycanthropy. He could hear them transforming, becoming Animagi just for him…he could taste the firewhiskey at Lily and James' wedding, and he could hear the words as though they were being spoken right into his ear: "Sirius Black is on the run, having killed thirteen people…"
Then his mind took him years ahead, to finding Sirius and discovering the truth and then suddenly, he could see his best mate slipping through into the veil once more, and then he and his wife were fighting Dolohov and Bellatrix and things were happening so fast that Remus never even heard a scream escape Dora's lips, but he sure as hell felt her body in his arms, a limp, dead weight in what he felt were his guilty arms.
Apparently, once his memories played through his history, his mind caught up to the present, and his fever broke. The delirium had faded enough that he could clearly see his living room and the curtains that flowed gently in the breeze entering from the cracked window. After a few steadying breaths, Remus carefully moved from the couch, gripping its back for support when his head began to swim. He took baby steps to the window and used all his strength to close it. When it clicked shut, he sank to the floor, completely drained.
It was all Remus ever heard: the sound of windows and doors shutting him out, never giving him the chance to shut out everyone else. The werewolf cradled his left arm as he drew up his legs, and he pressed his right fist against his eyes, knowing it was a useless action as his face grew wet anyway.
It felt as though forever had passed. Sure, some of his friends and acquaintances stopped by and tried to get Remus to talk or at least listen, but Remus turned them all away without another word. He supposed Harry, Hermione, George, and Arthur had given it their best tries. Hermione had tried to use logic, Arthur had tried reasoning with him, George had tried to guilt-trip him, and Harry… Well, Harry had gotten angry at him.
"My parents never got the chance to really know me, to see me grow up, to be at my wedding, be there for my kids," he'd said. "Tonks might not be here, but enjoy what fortune you do have, Remus. Everything can change in an instant—and not for the best."
Remus knew that all too well, though. Everything had changed when Greyback had harmed him, when Lily and James had died, when Sirius had suffered and then been taken from him yet again, when Dora had become pregnant and they'd started a family and then—just like that—they were barely a family without the mother.
He twirled a spoon of yogurt in his mouth, a voice in his head reminding him that no one forced him to take his potion…and there was some firewhiskey under the sink…
The lycanthrope shook his head. No, he could never turn to the other bottle. It just wasn't him. He was much better suited to remaining here, standing in front of the window, looking outside at the beautiful landscape just beyond the limits of his village. A lot of the time, he'd found himself wishing that that, outside, was his reality, because it looked free of pain, grief, and misfortune.
A guy could get used to a life like that.
But that life threw out some of the best people he knew… Harry and the others… His own son, Teddy, and his soon-to-be daughter-in-law…
Lilu, the same nagging voice prodded. Remus closed his eyes at the thought of her. She was a world away; the news had probably not even reached her yet, though… Shit, he reminded himself. The weeks that had passed had quickly become a couple of months. He was probably missing Teddy and Roxanne's wedding as his internal battle raged. Wasn't this around the time Teddy had been planning for the ceremony…?
Remus pursed his lips. BAM! Another window or door shut in his face.
However…that sound had not been a figment of his imagination. It had been something else entirely, something which he didn't understand until he heard footsteps clack softly on the wood floor before becoming muffled by the carpet. Instinctively, he knew only one person could've managed to forcefully Apparate into his house, despite the charms and spells. He sighed and dropped into a nearby chair as Lily Luna's presence grew somber at the sight of him.
No words passed between them. Lily had been the only person to be like that with Remus; she could not only read him, but understand him. She approached cautiously before unabashedly throwing her arms around him and hugging him tightly, so tightly, more tightly than he'd ever known a person to do so before…
He didn't cry this time, but his body shook as his pain rose to the surface. He knew he was broken, just not to this extent. Lily held his pieces together, not saying anything and not needing to. Her hands rubbed warm circles on his back and her curtain of hair hid his face from the rest of the world. After a while, when he'd calmed once more, she didn't remove herself from him but said, "Hey, Remmy…" Her voice was husky and…
Once again, she had inadvertently reminded him that she was an adult. Only this time, he felt like a child.
She sang some line of lyrics, of words that Remus didn't truly hear. He was too aware of the situation—not just the one with Teddy, but of her being there. She was the one to arrive. She was the one to comfort him. She was the one not to tell him that, indeed, there was a wedding going on at that moment.
And for once, something in a long, long while felt nice to Remus.
The following night, Remus leaned back on the couch and sighed. He had napped on and off for the entire day and still he felt drained. He picked his head up when he heard those same footsteps from the day before reenter the room.
"How are you feeling?" Lily Luna asked quietly.
He sat up. "Like I might actually know what day it is." He frowned. "It really was yesterday, wasn't it?"
She bit her lower lip and slowly nodded. "I was kinda tuning Uncle Charlie out…but then he finally shoved the invite under my nose and told me that Dad and the others…" She sighed. "You cut yourself off from Teddy? Why?"
"A bad argument," Remus replied. He paused and took a good look at her. "Wait a minute… Are those—?"
"Yours?" Lily smiled. "The only non-dusty room in this bloody house is yours, Remmy, so I ransacked it and borrowed some PJs."
"And you left me on the couch. Thanks," he said with a roll of his eyes. He quieted. "Why didn't you go?"
Her smile died down. "I was worried about you."
"It was your cousin's wedding."
"And she'll have a lifetime of happiness." Lily walked over and sat down beside him. "But I don't like letting you suffer even one night of hurt." She looked at him. "Why didn't you tell me what happened, what was going on?"
"Lilu, it's so much more than just a thing that happened." He grimaced and glanced at her stern expression. "Agh…all right, all right." So he relented and told her the whole story. Lily was patient with him and didn't interrupt him once; instead, she saved her comments for the end.
"…and Teddy are so thick," she finished with a shake of her head.
Remus tensed, defensive. "I honestly thought you'd take my side, Lily."
"Remus, you can't expect me to take sides here. I love you lots—you're my friend. But I grew up with Teddy and he's like a brother to me. And you both have your faults."
Stubborn, he got up and stomped into the kitchen. "You know, dammit, I wish that just one of these days someone will be fully on my side."
"Hey, just hear me out," the witch said as she followed him into the other room. "Yes, Teddy's a git and it was stupid of him to say what he did, but you really ought not to be so complacent." She snorted. "Hard to believe I'm saying this while you're being so pigheaded," she mumbled.
Remus' anger grew. "What is with you and Teddy? Both of you just—just—just seem set on infuriating me!"
Lily crossed her arms in front of her chest. "I'm not trying to start something. But you are acting like an adolescent, Remus."
"You should know. You were one not that long ago."
Her cheeks flushed and she stuck her arms to her sides. "Don't even go there."
"And why not?" he barked, stopping his hand for the handle of the door under the sink. The firewhiskey was right there…
"Because. You won't like what you'll find." Her teal eyes were afire; she was not referring to what he'd find under the sink at all. "Just stop the conversation here."
"I won't like what I'll find?" he asked, straightening and turning back to her.
She looked up at him, the fire in her eyes not wavering once. "Remus, let's just—"
He grabbed her shoulders and kissed her hard, the beast that his own son had told him he'd never been. She didn't fight him, which momentarily surprised him, but he relaxed into the touch and taste of her. He only snapped out of it when his fingers moved on their own and entwined themselves in her hair.
Her breathing was heavy, her lips red and swollen, but her eyes were still ablaze. She looked into his brown eyes.
"I love what I've found," he whispered, his eyes drinking in the sight of her flushed complexion. He held her and she leaned into him; they stayed like that for a while, before Lily cupped his cheek with her palm and exited the kitchen, turning down the hallway.
A few hours later, late enough to be considered fully "nighttime," Lily returned. She peeked in the kitchen first and then found Remus once more in the living room. She gave him a small smile. "Hey."
Remus picked his head up. "Hey."
She padded over to him. "I, uh, thought we could've used the time to let our heads cool…"
"And you know I…?"
Remus allowed himself a small, but genuine, grin. "I do now."
She exhaled and brushed some hair out of her face, her cheeks still barely pink. "I had not intended for that turn of events to happen. At least, not tonight. The whole purpose of my leaving Romania and coming over here—I had never planned on going to the wedding. Like I said before, I came because I was worried about you." She raised her eyebrows in concern. "That, uh, wasn't just a weird turn you had, right? I'm not imagining it, either?"
He shook his head. "No…though I wish I had handled things a little more, ehm, eloquently." He looked at her. "It wasn't perfect, but it was still nice, right?"
To his relief, she laughed. "Oh, Remmy…" She kissed the top of his head and backed away. "Don't worry," she assured when he wouldn't release her hand, "I'll be right back."
Remus frowned and rubbed his temples. He felt as though the full moon were right around the corner instead of several weeks away, what with the way his emotions had been rollercoaster-ing up and down and up and down… He wearily looked up when she returned with two flutes in hand and sat down beside him.
"Champagne," she answered before he asked. "More refined than firewhiskey," she added with a quirked eyebrow.
He bowed his head. "Lilu…what now?"
"You and Teddy need time," she said. "You are constantly mired in the goings-on of your surroundings, too." She heaved her copy of Narnia onto her lap. "Shall we leave reality for a bit, luv?"
"Just as easily achieved with the champagne alone."
"No, no, you're right…" He sighed as she clinked her glass against his.
"To Teddy and Roxanne."
"To Teddy and Roxanne," he echoed.
Their eyes locked on each other for a brief moment before Lily took a sip and cracked open the book, picking up where Remus had left off ages ago. Remus sipped his own drink, which—though bitter at first—mellowed out pleasantly, turning quite sweet. Yes…things would be bitter for now, but there was sweetness and goodness awaiting him at the end of this trouble.
Along with Lilu.
WELL! :3 I loved this a lot. I had to wonder myself what would cause such a rift between father and son and, though slightly childish, I think they both had their points… Lily Luna is a delight to write with Remus, because they don't need the "I love you"s or the icky, overly-fluffy moments. Before you ask, "c h a m p a i n" was spelled that way on purpose, as I'm sure the meaning is pretty clear-cut now. ;]
Lastly, The Chronicles of Narnia belongs to C.S. Lewis (surprisingly, I never enjoyed the books…just blame their influence on me on my buddy, Bethhhhhhh) and The Belgariad belongs to David Eddings (a serious, high-fantasy book, and a love of my sister—yet another title I know of but couldn't get into, *lol*). Hope you enjoyed their mentions, and hope you enjoyed the Remlilu love! I, of course, have more Remlilu planned—up next are "stargazer" (a drabble) and "Missing Piece" (though they don't necessarily go with this fic…), so please look forward to them! X3
Thanks for reading and please review!