Disclaimer: Look, I know I’m not JKR. Otherwise, I would be hiring someone to make my bed and do my laundry and complete my math homework.
“How could you Marlene! They’re just kids. Some of them can’t even fucking duel. And you’re, you’re sending them out into the battle training like they’ll be ready to face what we’re doing! They can’t heal out in the battlefield without getting killed”
Remus was outraged. He fought to keep his temper down, as his eyes bore into Marlene’s back, her pale hand pushing back her long blonde strands. She ignored him, writing the outline of the plans on her violet notebook. He had come back to the headquarters, yelling about someone who had offered to train Hogwarts seventh years in battle, when Marlene had quietly lifted her head and said it was her who had thought of the plan.
Marlene kept writing the different spells that were useful in battle while Remus fumed in the doorway. Her black quill scratched the words furiously, as she was eager to write everything down. This was something that she had been thinking about for a while, and finally had the courage to bring it up to Dumbledore during the last Order meeting. The Wizarding world was at its peak of danger, and she wanted to do something useful for the Order. She was planning a program that would train select Hogwarts seventh years in trauma healing training, so they could help in the many battles between the Order and Voldemort’s followers.
“They're ready Remus. That's all I can say about it."
“Is this about feeling inadequate McKinnon? Because you can’t just shove a bunch of kids in front of Voldemort to prove yourself! Ready? What kind of person are you to just think that they can save themselves when put in a war? These are kids who won’t even be able to duel, let alone go into battle!”
The Order was small, but talented. There were brains, fighters, strategists, and healers. Every member was important, for each talent was used. Marlene had been one of the newest additions, as had the Marauders, the Longbottoms and Lily Evans. But she was the only one who had never taken a big part in a battle, for Dumbledore always wanted her to be in charge of the healing. Marlene had shared her want to fight with Remus, and he knew that it was a low blow, but it was the only way to get to her.
Marlene’s head snapped up, and she turned around. Remus took a step forward, startled as tears started to drip down Marlene’s cheeks. Marlene never cried, not in the nine years he had known her. Not when she had broken her arm from falling of her broom during first year, not when she had splinched herself during their first apparating lesson. She had always been the strong one of their year, never wavering in her decisions.
Remus tried again, wanting to convince her that this plan wouldn’t go well. Marlene’s optimism often clashed with his belief in logic, but it was part of her. Remus couldn’t let such a foolhardly plan happen in these times. It wasn’t safe, and he didn’t want Marlene in the middle of a battle. He could barely stand to watch her defend herself during practice rounds. He couldn’t think clearly when she was in danger. All he could see were her blue-grey eyes, the color of stormy cloud on a windy day. And that’s how he described Marlene, someone who had a storm built up inside her, but preferred to let the wind blow her away. It scared him, how much he felt for her. And her plan scared the wits out of him, too.
“Look, they don’t know what they’re doing Marlene. They’re just kids, who haven’t even finished school.”
Marlene ran her fingers down her ribs, trying to speak. Instead, a sob choked out, as she tried to close her mind to the images running through her mind. The bloodstains, the note, that horrible letter. That day when she had run, in the Great Hall, only telling Lily what had happened. How she could have saved him, if she had been there.
She slammed the notebook closed and tossed it aside, stepping closer to Remus. His eyes widened and she felt a stab in her heart. Marlene had been in love with the bloody fool since fourth year, but always thought that he never felt the same. She was Marlene McKinnon, a cheerful Gryffindor who found it easy to make friends, who was good at healing. That’s all she ever was. He was Remus Lupin, a Marauder, someone who was strong enough to keep going despite being a werewolf. He was handsome, with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes and scars that gave his Darcy-like personality a mysterious edge. He was the kind of man who was sincerely nice to every person he knew. How could she compete with that? But this plan was something that would work. And she wasn’t going to let him take it down.
Remus felt slightly scared, in his heady rush. He could smell Marlene’s citrusy scent from here, and see the little teardrops on her cheeks. Being close to her was making him dizzy, and he was about to speak when Marlene opened her mouth, holding onto the doorknob for support.
“Lupin, I know what I'm doing. These seventh years have seen a lot already, and they will break if they aren't given something to do. Just like I felt when I saw my brother's coffin in our sixth year. They will go out, and this way, at least it safer for them.” Marlene stopped and took a breath, ignoring the look on Remus's face.
Marlene turned to walk out of the door, wiping away furiously at the tears that were now cascading down her face, when she felt a hand grab hers. Remus brought her back slowly, turning her to face him.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know”
Marlene nodded, knowing that those five words carried a tremendous meaning with them.
“It was during our sixth year, you know. I got an owl from Mum and Dad saying I needed to go to Dumbledore’s office to floo to the Ministry because Evan was dead. Killed. Murdered. Three lines, that’s all I got Remus. Their perfect son was dead, you see, because his unit did not have a healer on hand, and I had always been the extra child. And, I threw the letter at Lily and sprinted. Still, I can remember the bloodstains on his wand. They had blown him to bits, the Death Eaters. My older, undefeatable brother”
Marlene hiccupped, hiding her face with her hands. She slid down the wall, and Remus joined her. They sat on the cold stone floor for some time, letting the silence speak for itself. He turned slightly looking at her. Marlene McKinnon, the girl he had loved ever since their fifth year potions class, when she brought in a dying owl and stubbornly spent the whole of their class convincing Slughorn to make a curing potion. He couldn't let her be with him! What if...what if something happened. It was hard enough seeing her every day without wanting to pull her to him, without wanting to smash the men's faces who always stared at her on the street.
Remus sighed, trying to restore the calm demeanor that he always showed. He closed his eyes for a minute, thinking about how James and Sirius would tell him to shove his inhibitions aside. He felt Marlene shift next to him and blinked, watching her unwrap a Honeydukes caramel. She bit her tongue, trying to wrestle open the treat. Remus stared at her mouth, all pink and curvy and felt the burning in his body.
"Stop," Remus groaned.
Marlene turned to him, still biting her tongue, her eyes wide and confused. She popped the caramel into her mouth, sucking on the tip of the small tip. Remus buried his face in his hands and tried to ignore the stirring in him. If he didn't look, it would go away.
"Remus? Did you want one?"
He muttered something under his breath, while Marlene sat, not knowing quite what to do.
"I can't do this Marlene! I can't love you. I'm not supposed to. And you, you sit there, and I want to protect you. I want...goddamit. I shouldn’t…you shouldn’t. I don’t want this.”
“You don’t have to Remus”, said Marlene. She glared at him, and got up. Remus stood, towering over her, his mind registering that she had an angry expression.
“How dare you. How dare you say these things to me. Merlin, everyone knows I’ve been in love with you since I was fourteen. You’ve never had to deal with it. You never had to watch the person that you love reject you year after year. You don’t get to be the hero, Lupin!”
Remus’s breath caught, his hands jammed inside his jumper pockets. She always looked beautiful to him when she was caught up in a moment. Her cheeks were flushed and she was breathing heavily, her hair tucked behind her ears. And then he registered what she had said, in a heady rush of feelings.
“Since fourth year?”
Marlene sighed. She took another step towards him, the top of her head barely grazing his chin.
“Yes. Now, if you would, I still have these plans to finish.”
Marlene bent to pick up her notebook from the floor, resigned to what his feeling for her, when she was jerked towards Remus again. She gasped, her hands laying on his chest, his arms around her waist.
“You don’t get it Marlene. I want to be with you every bloody minute of the day. I want to stop you from hurting, from having events like your brother’s death happen. I want to be able to kiss you when I want. I…I love you”
And with that, Remus tossed his inhibitions aside and pulled her chin towards him, capturing her lips with his. She stood frozen, and then kissed him back. Their lips moved against each others, molding to their shape. Marlene’s hands drifted to Remus’s cheeks as he turned them, pressing Marlene against the wall as he kissed her fiercely. She locked her legs around him when he lifted her up and he drew in a sharp breath. Remus started to kiss down her neck, as Marlene arched into him. Her notebook dropped to the floor and the stairs outside creaked, startling them both.
Marlene broke it off and pulled away, leaving her hands on Remus’s face as she looked at him. Softly kissing him again, she held out her hand and smoothed out her shirt. Remus grinned at her, linking hands, and together they walked out of the room. Marlene leaned into him and he flipped through her notebook, eyebrows drawn together. And, from then on, their hands were linked. And Remus did end up helping Marlene with her plan. After all, he was a fool in love.
A/N: This was inspired by a scene from Grey's Anatomy, and it took me forever to edit it down so it would get validated. So, I hope you enjoy!