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Ebb and Flow by emberlivi
Chapter 62 : Hogwarts, Early June 1994
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3


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Althea,

Thank you for allowing me to view your results on flobberworms and earthworms. An archaic virus, deep within the genome, is a very intriguing possibility. An American colleague of mine, Professor Gregor, is very interested in researching the correlation between the biological component of magic and the immune response. He is currently studying the rapid healing of injuries of the Quodpot team, the Morgantown Mothmen. The idea that magic is a byproduct of a heightened immune response is fascinating. Is the secret in the methods employed, or does it lie within the wizard body?

From my humble laboratory in Prague, I am now studying Doxy venom for its apparent inhibition of the zinc-binding sites of matrix metalloproteinases, which as you know are important for tissue remodeling. The results so far have been optimistic, but it is still too early in the trials to recommend a dose of Doxy venom in conjunction with the Wolfsbane potion regimen


Althea placed the letter on her desk and rubbed her temples. “You’re a brilliant man, Professor Kafka, but it takes me at least a month to decipher your letter,” she murmured, opening her eyes wide to fight off sleep.

Thankfully, I have Remus to ask, she thought, eyeing the thick letter. However, I do believe I’ll have to spend the majority of my summer holiday in the library or maneuvering through large piles of books. Bloody hell, my office is such a mess, she thought as she looked at the large stacks of journals, books, and student papers on her desk, floor, and sofa. How she anticipated summer holiday—to be able to leave Hogwarts and to travel—wherever she wanted—without the prospect of marking essays. Afina had invited her to spend the first part of her holiday in New York and Althea gladly accepted the invitation. She enjoyed the idea of a new wardrobe and meeting Afina’s art and fashion friends.

“I hate final exams,” she said, narrowing her eyes at the third-year exams. “I have no room for myself.”

I’ll make room, she thought sifting through her post. Bills, bills—no I don’t want to renew a subscription to Witch Weekly! I never had a subscription! Wonderful, an invitation to The Harringtons’ Summer Solstice Celebration. What a laugh! John marrying an American witch—I suppose it was a nasty shock when she told him. Gran loves to remind me it could have been me and I tell her it still could be. He won’t ever leave me alone at these gatherings—obviously, his marriage means nothing to him, the toad. Speaking of Gran, this envelope is enormous, she thought, taking the envelope from Gran into her hands.

“Maybe it’s her will,” she remarked, begrudgingly opening the envelope. “I can only hope.”

Two small envelopes slipped out of the large envelope and fell onto her desk. Picking up the first envelope, she gasped as she looked at the return address.

“‘Number Four Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey?’” she breathed, as she gazed in astonishment at the neatly scrolled address.

What does Petunia have to write to me, she thought, cautiously opening the envelope. She hasn’t written or spoken to me in over fourteen years—not one letter, not one response into my inquiries about Harry…. She married that awful Dursley and forgot all about us…but I do understand. It was a matter of self-preservation. Althea opened the envelope, allowing the letter to slip out onto her desk. Unfolding the letter, she read Petunia’s cold, forced greeting and inquiries into her health. She probably wants to dump Harry on me, she thought as she read the first sentence.

…It has come to my attention that Sirius Black has escaped your prison. Since his initial escape, I have heard nothing in the news. Is he captured? I’m frightened that he would break into my home, looking for that boy, when he is in fact, at your so-called school….


“As if Sirius knows where your home is,” she commented and sighed. “You never invited any of us to your home for fear of dirtying your furniture. As if I wanted to come to your home—you following us round with a damp cloth, wiping everything we touched.”

…The thought of that evil man bursting into my home has led me to insist Vernon put more locks on our doors


Althea laughed. “Like a bloody lock could keep out Sirius. He ruined all the locks at Northfield,” she remarked and continued to read the letter.

…The purpose of this letter is the agreement that you look after that boy until Black is captured. I believe if we agree, that Dumbledore would have to agree...


Althea threw the letter onto her desk. She looked with disgust at the repulsive letter. If I could have taken Harry, I would have, and you—you offensive hag—would not have him, she thought and covered her face with her hands. It was to protect Harry, and I was in no state to raise him. The feeling of worthlessness and guilt crept into her chest once more. What would Lily think of her best friend? Would she think her despicable? A coward?

“I should show Remus the letter on Doxy venom,” she murmured and lifted her face from her hands. “I’ll write to her later.”

Althea stood, took Professor Kafka’s letter, and proceeded toward Remus’s office. I believe he’ll be just as surprised to hear Petunia has written me, she thought as she walked the long corridor that led to his office. I’d expect to hear from Sirius himself before I’d hear from her. Stopping at his office door, Althea frowned at the strange sounds emanating from the other side. What is Remus doing in there? Is that…growling?

Althea knocked on the door and waited for Remus’s reply.

“What?” he shouted and Althea heard a stack of papers fall to the ground. “Damn it! Come in!”

Althea cautiously opened the door and slipped into his office. “Is everything all right?” she asked and looked to Remus, sitting at his desk—his face in his hands. “I suppose not.”

Remus lifted his face and scratched his chin. “No, no, everything is all right,” he replied and motioned Althea to sit. However, his chairs were covered with stacks of papers and she decided to stand at the edge of his desk.

“You don’t look so well—a bit peaky,” she replied, smoothing the hair away from his face.

“How am I supposed to look? The full moon is tomorrow,” he said and covered his face with his hands. “I—I’m sorry. I’m not feeling well. I have a massive headache.”

Althea stood behind him and began to massage his shoulders. “Have you had your potion today?”

“Yes,” he murmured, pointing toward the smoking goblet.

Althea massaged a particularly tense spot in his neck. “Would you like some more? I’ll ask Snape for it and bring it to you,” she replied softly and Remus shook his head. “Are you sure?”

“I think I know when I need more Wolfsbane.”

“Of course,” she sighed.

Remus dropped his head. “God, that feels fantastic,” he murmured thickly, “thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” she whispered, kneading her thumbs deeper into his shoulder.

Remus sighed. “Just what I needed,” he said with a small smile. “I shouldn’t refuse this so much, should I?”

Her fingers began to tire, but Remus—having enough—took her hands from his shoulders and wrapped her arms around his neck.

“I’ve learnt my lesson, Professor.”

Althea frowned at his uncharacteristic gesture. “What has gotten into you?” she laughed nervously, attempting to straighten, but Remus tightened his grip on her arms.

“Nothing,” he replied, resting his head on her arm. “Can’t I sit here with my favorite Muggle Studies professor?” he added and sighed once more. “Anyway, what brings you here?”

“Doxies.”

“Doxies,” he laughed, stroking her arm. “You’re very capable of handling them yourself. Why would you need my help?”

“I don’t have Doxies—you’d hear me scream if I had Doxies. No, I received a letter from Professor Kafka,” she explained, succumbing and resting her head against his. “He might have discovered a treatment other than Wolfsbane.”

“With Doxies?” he asked and Althea murmured yes. “Nasty stuff, but so is Wolfsbane. Why can’t the treatment be a nice cup of tea?”

“It would be chamomile and you despise chamomile,” she whispered and felt him chuckle against her. “Are you all right?”

“I’m wonderful,” he replied, stroking her forearms.

“I thought you had a massive headache?”

“I do,” he replied, closing his eyes, “but I’ve recovered, somewhat.”

“Good.”

“I like when you wear that perfume.”

A nervous flutter filled her stomach. “It’s the perfume I always wear,” she replied—her throat slightly dry. “I’ve worn it for over twenty years.”

“I know,” he sighed and adjusted his grip on her arms. “It’s…comforting.”

Althea raised her eyebrows slightly. “Oh.”

Remus cleared his throat and continued, “After exams, I want to take you out to dinner.”

“Dinner?” she repeated quietly and Remus murmured yes. “What has gotten into you?”

“Nothing and don’t say no because I’ll be offended.”

Althea furrowed her eyebrows. “Fine then. Where will we go?” she asked, resting her chin on his shoulder.

What is Remus thinking? He can’t afford it, she thought as Remus visibly deliberated on dinner options.

“I think you should decide,” he explained and smiled, “otherwise, you’d have to eat cold Chinese take-away.”

The muscles in Althea’s back tightened—the dull ache of pain traveling down her legs. “You know, my back is sore in this position. You’re going to have to let me go.”

“I’m sorry,” he replied and reluctantly released her. “Here,” he continued and cleared off a spot on his desk, “sit here.”

Althea sat on the edge of his desk. “I remember that Chinese take-away,” she replied and wrinkled her nose. “It was at least three weeks old.”

Remus pinched her nose. “It wasn’t three weeks old. It was three days old and I remember you happily ate it in my kitchen.”

“It tasted like it was three weeks old,” she muttered and playfully kicked Remus’ shin. “Anyway, maybe I want you to cook.”

“Oh Althea, my cooking is horrible, you know that,” he replied, shaking his head.

Althea leaned forward and grinned. “Would you like me to cook then?” she asked brightly and quickly raised and lowered her eyebrows. “I’d make your favorites.”

“I’d rather have someone cook for you,” he answered and placed his hand on her knee, causing Althea to sit upright. “You don’t have to decide now.”

“Right,” she replied—her voice slightly higher than usual—she quickly coughed to correct it. “Anyway,” she continued, retrieving Professor Kafka’s letter from her robe pocket, “here is the letter. Professor Kafka’s letter, I mean.”

“Oh right, thanks,” he replied and took the letter into his hands. “Awfully thick,” he remarked, waving the many pages with his right hand as his left hand massaged her knee.

Althea—her eyes wide—stood from his desk.

Remus frowned. “Leaving so soon?”

Althea nodded. “I should return to my office. I have so many exams to mark.”

Remus faintly sneered. “That can wait, can’t it?” he said, taking her hand in his. “It’s such a beautiful afternoon,” he continued, his eyes focused upon her palm as his thumb traced its lines. “I thought we could take a walk by the lake.”

“Oh,” she murmured and licked her bottom lip. “I thought you’d want to read the letter straight away. It’s very thick,” she added and felt her cheeks flush, “but if you want to—”

“Right,” he sighed. Remus opened his mouth as if to speak, paused, and frowned thoughtfully before he continued, “Althea, you wouldn’t mind stopping by my quarters tonight? I mean…to pick up this letter?”

The small fluttering in Althea’s stomach returned. “I—I believe so,” she answered—slightly flustered—looking toward the wall.

Remus affectionately squeezed her hand and Althea returned her gaze to him. “Fantastic,” he replied and winked. “I want some time to understand this letter. It’s Kafka, after all.”

“What time—seven or eight?” she asked and gently bit her bottom lip.

“No…” he replied slowly, “ten.”

“Ten?” she repeated, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah,” he replied with a small smile and Althea felt the flush travel to her chest as his lips grazed her fingers. “I’ll see you at ten?”

Remus’s lips lingered upon her fingers and Althea took a sharp intake of breath. “At ten,” she managed to say, retracting her hand from him.

Remus’s smile broadened. “I look forward to it, then,” he replied and tugged at her sleeve.

“So do I,” she replied with a nervous smile.

Althea quickly left Remus’s office, and as she closed the door, she raised her eyebrows in confusion. What happened to him, she thought, her hand still resting on the doorknob. Meet him in his quarters at ten? Kissing my hand? He couldn’t be…could he?

“It’s about bloody time,” she smirked.

***


He’s probably drunk, she thought—her fingertips lightly touching the door to Remus’s quarters. The way he would look at me and then take a long sip of wine at dinner…he’s probably unconscious on his bed. She felt a nervous twinge in her stomach she hadn’t felt for years. I can’t believe I’m going through with this. Althea’s fingertips traced small circles against the door—her fingertips recognizing the roughness of the wood grain. What am I thinking? I want this…but do I look all right? She tugged and smoothed at the sheer, delicate fabric of the nightgown underneath her dressing gown. Never mind that, I need to knock on the bloody door.

Just as Althea raised her hand to knock on the door, the door opened, catching her off guard.

“Oh, Althea, you’re here,” Remus said and took a deep breath. “Come in.”

Althea entered Remus’s quarters and stood close to the door. Her eyes quickly scanned the room and noticed nothing was different. Costello’s This Year’s Model was silent upon the phonograph and papers and books were in piles upon the floor. She frowned faintly. Not very romantic, is it?

“Have you read the letter?” she asked, clasping her hands in front of her and twisting her fingers.

“Yes, of course I have,” he replied—his speech shallow. “Please, don’t stand,” he continued, gently taking hold of her arms, “please sit.”

Remus led her to his bed where she sat next to him. This is so odd, she thought as Remus dryly cleared his throat. I thought this would be more—I don’t know¬, she thought, looking about the messy room. Although, the last time, it was in an abandoned teacher’s study, so this is an improvement. There is a bed and not a sofa. She folded her hands in her lap and kicked her heel against the floor. Right, something needs to be done to break this awkwardness, she thought as Remus stood and briskly walked across his quarters to a table. Opening a compartment underneath the table, he stooped to pick up a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. As he placed the first wine glass on the table, the second glass slipped from his hands and he awkwardly caught it between two fingers by the stem.

“Would you like some wine?” he asked, pouring the scarlet liquid into the first glass.

“Oh, just a little,” she answered, measuring out her desired amount with her index finger and thumb.

She smiled nervously as she took the glass from him. She held the rim of the glass to her lips and watched Remus quickly down his entire glass.

“Would you like some more?” she teased and took a sip of wine.

Remus frowned slightly. “I’ve had enough, I think,” he replied and placed his glass on the nightstand.

Althea finished her glass and placed it on the nightstand as well. “There,” she said, sitting next to him.

Oh, this is so bloody unromantic, she thought, the disappointment slowly washing over her insides. I suppose he hasn’t had that much experience…I wonder how much experience he’s had? Althea raised an eyebrow at him, and Remus looked at her quizzically. He never talks about those sorts of things, so I really don’t know, she thought and frowned thoughtfully. I believe he has though…I hope.

“What did you think of the letter?” she asked to break the silence.

“The letter,” he muttered, absentmindedly rubbing his face. “I read it, if that’s what you mean.”

“Yeah, well any thoughts on what Professor Kafka wrote?” she asked, crossing her legs.

Her scarlet-colored dressing gown slipped, exposing her legs, and she quickly covered them. She noticed Remus with haste, tightly shut his eyes and open them again.

“Is everything all right?”

Remus nodded with great exaggeration—the muscles in his neck and shoulders tightening. “I’m fine, really. Tired, but fine. The full moon is tomorrow, you know.”

“Yes, of course,” she replied and gently bit her bottom lip. “You seem so tense though. Here, turn round and I’ll massage your shoulders for you,” she added, moving closer.

“No, no, that’s not necessary,” he replied, holding up his hands.

Althea returned to her former position. “Right,” she murmured, frowning.

I’ve had enough of this, she thought, folding her arms.

“I think I’ll go,” she continued and stood. She turned toward Remus. “You can tell me tomorrow what you think of the letter.”

Remus’s nervous expression faded. “Wait,” he said, motioning her to sit again, “I have to tell you something.”

Althea sighed and rolled her eyes in annoyance as she sat down. “What?”

Remus cleared his throat before he began, “I wanted to tell you that I’ve thought about your offer. I would like to spend the summer holiday with you.”

“Summer holiday?” she repeated, her lips slowly upturning into a smile. “I thought it would be too much of a hassle.”

Remus shook his head. “I’ve already started the process and final approval is to arrive tomorrow,” he explained, grinning. “Surprise.”

Althea felt a sudden surge of excitement and happiness at the prospect of spending the entire summer holiday with Remus. She gently bit her bottom lip at the thought of Remus’s lips against her bare back as she sunned herself upon the beach.

“Surprise, indeed,” she replied happily, throwing her arms around his neck. “Oh, Remus, this is so fantastic!”

“I thought it would,” he murmured, slowly rubbing her back.

Slightly pulling away from him, she frowned. “Oh, but I already promised Afina I’d visit her before I went to Bermuda,” she replied and pouted. “Would you like to travel to New York first? It wouldn’t be too much of a hassle, would it? If so, I could—”

“I would enjoy that, actually,” he said, pushing her pouting lip up with his thumb. “She’s written me a few times asking for me to visit.”

“Fantastic, but what brought about this change?” she asked, playing with the back of his collar.

“Well…” he began slowly, gliding his fingertips up and down her sides, “why spend a holiday alone? I’d be very jealous reading your letters about your holiday in Bermuda while I’m here.”

“You, jealous?”

“I would be,” he whispered, leaning exceptionally close to her. “You in the sun…and on the beach…and in the ocean,” he added, his hot breath warming her ear.

Althea’s neck tingled. She closed her eyes. “Stop being awful,” she teased.

She felt his lips upon her jaw. “I am on my best behavior.”

Althea giggled lowly as Remus’s lips tickled her neck. She eased her dressing gown open, allowing the silk garment to fall from her shoulders—the cool air against her skin extinguished by Remus’s warm hands. Suddenly, Remus pulled away.

“What?” she whispered, smoothing the hair from his face.

Remus chewed his bottom lip as he considered Althea. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly and placed Althea’s hands in her lap.

Althea frowned. “Remus—”

Remus lifted Althea’s dressing gown over her shoulders. “You—you should go,” he said and nodded quickly. “It would be best.”

Althea felt her neck and chest grow hot with embarrassment. How could she have let herself think that Remus could regard her with more than brotherly affection? She narrowed her eyes. You haven’t kissed me since we were fifteen.

“Your hand was on my tit,” she said as Remus—his expression strained—massaged his temple…he refused to look at her. She sighed loudly. “Right,” she said and stood.

Remus, his eyes downcast, remained quiet.

“What do you want of me?” she asked as she stood before him.

She closed her eyes briefly—she might as well. They were friends and colleagues with a connection that teased upon edge of the sexual. For years they had played this game of one wanting other and the other ready to reject. The frustration in itself was the aphrodisiac. Almost twelve years, she thought.

Remus picked at his thumbnail.

“What do you want?”

Remus tightly shut his mouth.

Althea felt a boldness in her chest as she sighed, “I want you.”

The quiet demeanor of Remus faltered—he looked confused as if he did not know to feel pleasure or panic at those words.

“I know you’ve felt the same. You feel it now, don’t you?”

His look begging, he said, “Althea—”

“Don’t,” she protested, holding up her hand. Remus went to speak, but Althea blurted, “I love you.”

Remus’ shoulders rolled forward and he covered his face with his hand. “God, Althea—”

“Don’t you remember? Christmas 1982?” she said and Remus refused to remove his hand or to acknowledge that memory. “You spoke the same to me, but I was so obsessed with Oswin…” she continued and shook her head.

“Please—”

“I regret lying to you.”

Remus lowered his hand, revealing a pale pink to his cheeks.

She returned to the bed and took his faintly sweaty hands into hers. “You’ve always been there for me, Remus,” she said, lifting their clasped hands to her breast. “For Prudence—”

Remus attempted coax his hands from her. “I held you back—”

Althea disregarded his interruption and persisted, “In Alexandria—”

“No—”

“When Derrick left after I told him what I was, what we are,” she said, and furrowed her brow. “You’ve—I love you,” she said and steadfastly gazed into his pale eyes.

“We’re not fifteen,” he replied and swallowed. “There would be a massive scandal if it were discovered—”

“You’ve been my best friend for how long?” she interrupted, letting go of his hands. “I would be ostracized by association regardless,” she added, leaning forward—Remus’s eyes quickly darted up to her forehead. “And good Lord, if they haven’t figured it out by Snape’s thinly veiled innuendo in the staffroom or any of the other chances he’s had—”

“You’d lose your chance at Prudence.”

Althea paused and sat upright.

“I couldn’t,” he said, lowering his head, “I won’t take that away from you.”

“Her father escaped from Azkaban,” she reminded and felt uneasy at her words—as if speaking his name would have him return to Hogwarts, “and as have I, or have you forgotten?”

Remus shook his head. “You’ve never understood—”

Althea let out a growl of frustration. “Stop saying that it’s because you’re a werewolf—”

Remus gulped.

“—and truly say it’s because of the mess I am!” she finished, slapping her hand upon her thigh. “You can’t be with someone like me.”

“That isn’t true,” he murmured weakly. “God, it isn’t true—”

“Then what—”

Remus grabbed Althea by the shoulders—she gasped. “I want you,” he said and closed his eyes, she felt his fingers knead into her shoulders. “It’s complicated—”

“Apparently,” she breathed.

He faintly licked his lips. “Every full moon I taste you.”

Althea swallowed. Her mind flashed to their first meeting in Alexandria. She, having pinned Remus beneath her, had smeared her blood from a fresh cut upon her hand across his tightly sealed lips. She had taunted him to taste her. He had never looked so horrified.

“I didn’t want to—I tried—but just a few drops—”

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered and attempted to back away, but Remus’s grip tightened.

“It repulsed me,” he said and opened his eyes, “but it was exhilarating—”

It was Althea’s turn to express mild horror. “Exhilarating?”

“Yes,” he nodded, his look one of anguish. “You remember your last. It’s what drives—”

“Goodnight, Professor Lupin,” she said, pushing herself away from him.

Professor Lupin? Those words seemed so odd to her. He was her Remus—her friend for over twenty years. Remus made a weak attempt to retrieve her.

Althea rested her head against the back of his door as she closed it. What have I done, she thought as she gently hit the back of her head against the door. All these years…once a werewolf has tasted blood… She looked up to the stone vaulted ceiling. I’ve ruined him.

Suddenly, Althea heard what sounded like a glass being thrown across his quarters and smashing into the door with Remus shouting expletives. Althea lowered her head. I can’t leave him. Slowly opening the door, she peered in, seeing Remus—sitting and with his face in his hands—the broken glass lying in a pile in front of her.

“Remus?” she asked as she stepped over the broken glass.

Remus stood from his bed and met her as she walked toward him. Before she could ask him if everything was all right, he cupped her face in his hands.

“You understand what this means?” he whispered quickly, resting his forehead against hers. “You understand, don’t you?”

Althea nodded against him.

She felt him relax against her. “I love you,” he murmured and pressed his lips to hers.

Overcoming her shock, she slowly slipped her arms around his neck—her fingers grasping and releasing the back of his hair as she enjoyed the ferocity at which he kissed her. Obviously, everything is all right, she thought, smiling to herself as the tips of his fingers slid underneath the hem of her nightgown.

***


Althea sleepily lifted the bedclothes over her head as she turned over. Oh, don’t be morning already, she thought, stretching her arm out in front of her. Doesn’t he sleep in?

“You’re going to have to get up eventually,” she heard Remus say.

“Mmmhmm,” she murmured, pulling the bedclothes tighter over her head. “Five more minutes.”

“That’s five less minutes you have to avoid the students.”

“Fine,” she sighed, pulling the bedclothes away from her face. “I suppose you want to be rid of me,” she teased as she sat up.

“You know that’s not true,” he replied as he stood from his bathroom doorway. He grinned as he looked upon her. “I’ll wake you in five minutes.”

“No, it’s not necessary,” she replied, running her fingers through her hair. “How long have you been awake?” she asked, slipping her nightgown over her head.

Remus took the toothbrush from his mouth and spit into the sink. “Oh, about thirty minutes, I think,” he replied, leaning against the doorframe. “I did wake you, but you thrust your hand into my face. ‘Oh, Remus, again? I’m exhausted,’” he teased with large smile.

Althea laughed. “I never said that,” she replied, playfully narrowing her eyes at him.

Remus winked.

“Sorry about that—thrusting my hand in your face,” she said as she stood. “What time is it anyway?” she asked as she placed her left foot into her slipper.

“You have a half hour before breakfast,” he replied and laughed as Althea gasped.

She stumbled, but caught herself as she placed her right foot into her slipper. “Thirty minutes! I need an hour at least!” she exclaimed—her eyes widening. “Stop laughing! I’ll be late and everyone will know!”

Remus shook his head as he smiled. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it,” he replied, taking her hand in his. “No one will know about us.”

He held her fingers to his lips and, for a moment, considered her thumb. Althea held her breath.

“I promise,” he finished and kissed her thumb.

“I hope,” she sighed. “You’re up considerably early for the day of a full moon.”

“I have the third-year exam first thing in this morning—”

“Oh no!” she lamented, pouting. “You’ll miss the sixth-year’s production of The Crucible. I thought the exam was in the afternoon.”

“Damn,” he murmured, pushing up her lower lip. “Well, I did see the dress rehearsal and they were wonderful. Only you’d think of a production of The Crucible.”

“Of course,” she said with a proud, small smile. “They’re fantastic, too. They took their roles very seriously. I was very impressed. All of them will receive full marks.”

“They’ll be very pleased.”

“Oh, before I forget, what time would you like me to check on you tonight?” she asked and tugged at his robes.

“I don’t know,” he answered, furrowing his eyebrows in thought. “Probably eleven. I’d be settled by then, I think,” he continued and tugged at a curl that fell upon her cheek.

“In your office or your quarters?” she asked, resting her hands against his chest.

“Quarters most likely, but it’ll depend when Snape brings me the Wolfsbane,” he replied and made a face.

“Just imagine tomorrow when you don’t have to drink it and it’ll be a Hogsmeade visit,” she explained, smoothing out his collar. “All the students will be gone, leaving us professors alone,” she added and winked.

“Oh…” he sighed slowly, pulling her closer to him, “I think I’ll be too exhausted tomorrow. Maybe the day after.”

Althea’s expression transformed to humorous surprise. “So, is this something that will continue? You and me, I mean?” she asked with a slight smile.

“It would be very awkward if it didn’t,” he replied, resting his forehead against hers.

Althea’s stomach leapt with excitement. He’s not ashamed—I’m not ashamed…he wanted this, she thought, gently running her fingers through the hair on the back of his head. I wanted this.

“But it must be kept with the utmost secrecy,” he teased and winked.

“Of course, Professor Lupin,” she replied with mock seriousness.

“Right,” he laughed and kissed her lips. “I’ll see you at breakfast,” he continued and Althea kissed his lips once more. “You now have twenty-five minutes.”




Thank you so much for reading! What is in store for Althea? The full moon and the Kiss.


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