Remus sleepily got out of bed and dragged his feet across the floor, carefully avoiding waking James and Sirius. He was making his way out down the hall to the bathroom when he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. He turned around to greet who might could have been Lily or one of the Weasleys, but instead he found himself on the other end of a wand. "You aren't Percy," the stranger said, "What are you doing in my house?"
A boy about the same age as himself, tall and lanky with blue eyes. Remus guessed it was one of the Weasley sons based on the similar fiery red hair. He recalled what his older self and Tonks had told them and a name came up: Ron Weasley.
Ron's eyes bulged out of his head once the strange boy who had emerged from Percy's room turned to face him, but he held firm with his wand. "Who are you?" he repeated.
He doesn't know, Remus thought. "Remus Lupin," the werewolf answered truthfully. This seemed to confuse Ron even more, and he pointed his wand closer to the boy claiming to be his former professor.
"You can't be him. You're too-" Ron's blue eyes looked him up and down, "Young."
Remus nearly spoke in his older self's defense when Mrs. Weasley arrived. Her mouth formed an 'o' in surprise, but Remus realized it was not because of the situation at hand. Instead, she stared at her youngest son, but quickly broke out of her trance to reprimand him. "Ronald Weasley!" she yelled, "What do you think you're doing yielding a wand at our guest?"
The redheaded boy who fiercely had a wand at Remus's throat was now cowering in the presence of his mother. Ron immediately hid his wand, but obviously had many questions in mind. He started, "Who is this, and why did he say he was Professor Lupin?"
"We will explain once you allow this boy to properly begin his morning," said Mrs. Weasley, holding her son's shoulders and ushering him down the stairs. Ron gave a few looks back before they were both out of sight.
The door of their temporary room opened, revealing both James and Sirius barely up from their slumber. They looked from their friend to the stairs and back. Sirius spoke first, "What just happened?"
The three boys met Lily on their way to breakfast, briefing her on Remus's morning. They arrived at the table to find more than one seat now occupied and the entire dining area decorated.
Streamers ran from corner to corner in every color and a sign hung over the fireplace that said "Happy birthday, Bill."
Bill, and his wife, Fleur, had accompanied Ron to The Burrow. The latter noticed them all immediately and had been told of the last week's happenings, based on his fairly subdued reaction to seeing James, Lily, and Sirius.
"Bloody hell," said the young Weasley,earning himself another reprimanding from his mother. The four time travelers laughed, greeted the oldest Weasley, and took their seats at the table, enjoying Molly Weasley's delicious special birthday breakfast.
Ron waited for when they were nearly through their plates to make his next remark. He stared at James, an inquisitive expression on his face, then said, "You don't look that much alike."
"I can see the hair and the glasses, your noses are a bit different. And Harry's eyes are a different color. Green," Ron pointed out, his eyes shifting to Lily, "Like yours."
Lily smiled at the thought that so many people could make out her son's appearance in his parents. She clarified, "You're friends with Harry?"
Ron noticeably grinned, but something dimmed that happiness slightly. "Harry's my best mate," he said. "Can't say I know where he is now..."
Bill spoke for his brother, turning to the four teenagers, "Ron's been staying with me and Fleur. He's been trying to track down Harry and Hermione, but from what I understand, they've been on the move."
"Remus, or the older one, and Tonks told us you were with them," said James.
"I-" Ron's eyes turned bright red, clashing with the color of his hair, "The mission's been tough. I walked out on them. But I regretted my decision instantly. I'd do anything to find them again."
"Have you found anything?" asked Lily, sending the boy a small smile of understanding.
Ron shook his head, "'Mione's smart enough not to leave any tracks."
"You'll find something," Lily assured. Ron simply nodded, hoping for exactly that. They went back to eating their meals in comfortable silence.
Sirius, usually not one to keep to himself asked, "George, what's that bandage for?"
Remus slapped the back of his friend's head, telling him to quit talking. The Weasleys froze in their seats. George, however, did not seem the least bothered by the question. He answered, "Got my ear blasted off by a bloody Death Eater. Want to see it?"
Sirius shook his head, not wanting to see his breakfast back again.
Before George could speak, Fred laughed and begged, "Please don't tell them your horrible 'holey' joke again."
"I'm sorry, Fred, didn't hear you," said George as he cupped a hand over the place where his ear should have been. While the rest of his family groaned, the time travelers laughed, easing the mood.
"Hey, I don't look as bad as Bill here," George patted the his older brother's back.
Fleur came in his defense, "'e iz still very 'andsome to me." She gently traced his scars with her fingers and placed a kiss on her husband's cheek.
Bill sensed their curiosity and said to them, "I was attacked a few months back during battle. Fenrir Greyback."
"Greyback?" Chills ran down Remus's spine at the name of the monster who had made him a werewolf. "Are you...?"
"I like my meat raw, but that's just about it," Bill told him. A thought came to Bill, asking Remus, "How are you handling your transformation?"
Remus tilted his head slightly. He had not thought about how their time traveling's effect on his cycle. "I'm not very sure, but I believe it will truly only occur in the presence of a full moon."
Bill agreed with him and informed the werewolf, "Full moon isn't for another couple weeks."
"Hopefully, we'll be back by then," said Sirius and his friends agreed. In the midst of all this war, they definitely missed their own time.
Just as Bill, Fleur, and Ron were making their way out, Remus and Tonks arrived. They greeted Bill, who expressed his thanks and wishing them a good time. The three individuals walked out, disapparating just as they reached the edge of the line they knew was surrounding the house. The teenagers focused their attention to the Lupins, who they now noticed were not alone.
"Andy?" Sirius called out. He stood in his spot, shocked at the sight of his cousin. She was much older than when he'd last seen her-twenty years ago. Andromeda still held the tall, Black beauty, but there were now noticeable signs of aging in her appearance. Although he would never admit it to her out loud in fear for his own life, Sirius deemed her to look more of a member of the Black family than himself if it were not for the softness in her features.
"Sirius? It's really you," Andromeda's fingers came up to cover her mouth and her dark eyes began to water. Sirius stepped forward, slowly making his way to his cousin. In turn, Andromeda met him halfway, and once at arm's length, gathered him into a hug.
"I always knew you couldn't have done it," she said after they pulled apart.
"Well, it hasn't exactly happened yet,Andy," Sirius chuckled, but he knew what she meant. She always knew that he could never betray his friends, the people he loved.
She swatted his arm gently, telling him, "Don't call me Andy."
From behind her, Andromeda heard her son-in-law make a noise as if he was trying to control his laughter. She turned and raised an eyebrow at him, "Yes, Remus?"
Remus's face went pink as Andromeda Tonks addressed him, but still managed to send a wolfish grin. He explained, "It's-uh.. I believe we all know now where Nymphadora inherited her catchphrase."
"Don't call me Nymphadora, Remus," said Tonks before she could stop herself, and as a result, proving her husband's point. Laughter ran through the crowd.
Andromeda looked over Sirius's shoulder. "And these are the rest of the time travelers, I assume?" She tipped her head at James and Lily, both waving and smiling. Setting her eye on their friend, she chuckled and commented, "What a strange experience this may be for you, Remus Lupin."
"It definitely has been, Mrs. Tonks," said a shy younger Remus.
"As you will be my son-in-law one day, I please advise you to call me 'Andromeda'," she glared at Sirius, "Call me 'Andy' and you may never see the light of day again."
Remus struggled to keep himself from smiling at the sound of his wife. He watched as she held her slightly swollen belly, while the rest of her body shook in her laughter. Sirius had said something that had seemed to amuse her and a chuckling Andromeda, a great contrast from her daughter. The three members of the Black family had settled into a corner of the room, and Remus wondered if this would have been a possible if his best friend had not fallen through the veil. He chose not to think of the past anymore, focusing on the scene playing our before him.
"You really love her, don't you?"
Remus pulled his eyes away, now bringing his attention to his younger counterpart. Younger Remus was sitting in the chair across from him, familiar eyes illuminated by the fire nearby.
"Yes, I do."
"But how? How did you manage?" he asked the older werewolf, "How did you deal with it all?"
Older Remus sighed, rubbing his stubbly chin. Of course, he understood every question in great depth more than anyone else. The moments after James and Lily's deaths, after Sirius's death, the feeling of loneliness and never ending tragedy. Only he could understand his own concerns, his own panic over what is to come, but still, he struggled to form an answer. "I didn't," he told younger Remus. "I was never great at coping, you should know, but I continued to live on with my life. I have always been a runner. I never want to face my problems, and I always end up running," he spoke with a tinge of guilt in his voice, "I attempted to join Harry once I discovered Dora was pregnant, and he called me a 'coward', which I had been. I was a coward."
Younger Remus stayed quiet, feeling slightly uncomfortable after being told personal details despite the fact that those certain details were parts of a life he had yet to live.
"For many years, you will feel pain, and you may even feel the need to lose your will to live, but there will continue to be people who care. If there is no Dumbledore or Sirius or Harry," he looked back to his wife. As if feeling her husband's eyes, Tonks strayed from her cousin, her eyes full of mirth and the corners of her mouth turning up. He finished, "There will be her."
Younger Remus took a few moments before he spoke again, "You're sure?"
His older self, much older in appearance and wiser in air, simply smiled.
"More than I have ever been of anything else in my life."
This update is a bit late! I'll be starting college tomorrow, so I'm had my hands full. Hopefully, I won't be too busy because I just want to keep going regularly with this story! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed :)
Thank you to all who followed, favorited, and reviewed!
Side note: To those who had expected a conversation between Sirius and Andromeda regarding Regulus, I apologize! It never came to mind for them to have that discussion, so I found great difficulty when I attempted to incorporate it. In the end, I chose to exclude it. I'm sorry!