27. Reasonable Requests
The next morning was far too quiet and dark with no windows to peer into the lake. My heart ached for my comfortable little dorm in the dungeons, but I stood by my decision to get out of Slytherin house while I still had the chance. When I arrived at the Gryffindor table for breakfast, the whole hall fell silent, watching me. I simply ignored them all. Of course everyone knew already that the Malfoy heiress was trying to leave the house her family had been sorted into for centuries. Anything that's worth keeping secret Hogwarts would know by morning. Remus set his hand on my shoulder in a protectively reassuring gesture and I sighed. With my sigh the spell of silence broke around us and the whispers took their place. A couple Gryffindors were brave enough to whisper questions.
"Is it true?"
"I heard she hexed that Snape kid."
"What the hell?"
"That third year, Regalus says she's resorting because she's in love with Lupin."
"Nah, doesn't matter what house she is. I hear her father's a psycho. He'll never allow it."
I turned to the closest of the gawkers who had asked three times if I'd really hexed Severus and set my meanest glare on him. "I will pay you to shut up."
"Really?" He smirked. "How much?"
I leaned across Sirius and dropped my voice low before whispering, "I don't know, how much is your life worth to you, kid?"
The boy squealed like a little girl and ran off leaving a full plate of food behind.
Sirius grinned and put a proud arm around my shoulders. "That right there... That was messed up, Dez."
I shrugged. "What do you expect, I was raised by a psycho."
The kid who'd made the earlier comment blushed as red as Lily's hair all the way to the roots of his own. He chewed his lip for a moment before mumbling an apology and carefully picking a new topic, the chudley cannons or some other ridiculously named quidditch team. Sirius and James joined his conversation, but I could tell that they weren't paying much attention to him. They scanned the crowd around us for any more potential targets of my cranky sarcasm.
I smiled as everyone else in the general area turned back to their breakfasts, but several still watched me from the corner of their eye.
Remus draped his arm over my shoulder and left it there. Part of me wished he wouldn't do that, because it left me with the strange urge to turn to him and kiss him. Another part reveled in this beautiful "more than friends, but less than I want" relationship we had going on.
Classes started shortly after that and I soon got a taste of what my new life would be like. Slytherins vaulted hexes my way while the other houses merely tossed around insults. I was a traitor. A snake in the grass. A wolf in sheep's clothes. Only a rare few Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs stood up for me. The boys were forced to stick to my side like superglue and I felt especially bad when Peter got hit by a stray bat bogey hex that had been meant for me. I stood tall and strong as the whole school seemed to come together against me, and the boys stood proudly at my side. By the end of the day, we had traversing the hallways down to a science. Remus and Peter would walk a single step ahead of me, essentially blocking me from harms way. James and Sirius, or best duelists, would walk a step behind me to battle their way through the crowds of people protesting my transfer.
When classes ended, I grabbed my homework, my sketchbook, and my project texts and walked straight out of class and to the far side of a little hill by the lake, blocking me from view. I curled down into the grass and closed my eyes wishing I didn't have to go back to school for the first time in my life. Soon, I felt the warmth of a body next to mine. I sighed in relief and turned my head to rest it on Remus's shoulder. "School is supposed to be the one place I feel safe, Rem. For five years, Hogwarts has been my escape from my family. I don't know if I can handle not having an escape for the next two years." I sobbed.
Remus wrapped his arms around me. "The Marauders will be here. We'll be your escape."
"I can't stand living life looking over my shoulder for the monster that I know will always be there." I whispered. "I just want to not be scared anymore."
He held me closer for a moment before pulling back to look at me. His eyes were the color of carmel today, a perfect mix between Moony's yellow and Remus's chocolate. "Never be afraid, Dez. I'll always be here to protect you, Zemer."
"What's that word, Zemer mean?" I asked softly.
"It means... It's a werewolf word and I don't know how to explain it. I'll ask someone when I have the chance." He chuckled awkwardly. "Sorry about that."
I shrugged. "Don't be. It's a part of who you are, and I... I think it's a beautiful, natural part of who you are, Moony. I accept all of you, wolf and man, because you aren't one or the other, you are both." I smiled softly at him.
Remus closed his eyes and suddenly his lips were pressed softly against mine. It was an entirely different kiss than our first kiss had been. Instead of being hot and demanding, Remus's kiss was soft and shy, just like him. The two moments were as different as night and day, just as the two sides of Remus. Too soon, Remus pulled away, blushing and apologizing. I rolled my eyes at him and leaned forward giving him a light kiss on the cheek before smiling at him. "Stop apologizing, silly boy. You can repay me with a date at that little tea shop in Hogsmeade next weekend."
Remus groaned, "Dez you know-"
I cut him off with a grin. "I do know your lame little excuse, and I don't care. You kissed me first."
Remus chewed his lip for a moment. "Okay, the tea shop it is, but I'm not promising anything more than that, Dez. It's dangerous ground you're walking on here."
I grinned and leaned my head on his shoulder. "No it's not. I trust you, and your wolf with my life." Remus sighed, but the two of us sat in a comfortable silence, cuddled together by the lake, and just watched the sunset.
"You're over-protective big brother talked to me the other day. Told me to either ask you out or to stop holding you back." Remus chuckled. "How soon do you think he'll ambush me with the "hurt her and I hurt you" talk?"
"Oh, Sirius was your friend first. He won't do that to you." I giggled softly.
"Oh he would. He adores you, Dez." He laughed. "He just doesn't want to marry you."
I rolled my eyes. "I think marriage is a waste of time. If I'm going to spend the rest of my life with someone, I don't need a piece of paper proving it. I want the ability to walk away if things change, without having to go through all that divorce crap. Besides, I don't need the government, muggle or magic, involved in my personal affairs."
"Yeah. I see your point." He chuckled. "I guess I never thought of it like that."
"Yeah, I'm not a fan of anything that says I can't do whatever I want." I giggled. "Gay marraige, Werewolves in the workplace, a little bit of drugs, whatever. It should be legal for people who want it."
"I don't know if our society can handle it, Dez. I mean, werewolves working for a living? You'd think that they're people!" He laughed along with me. "And gay marriage, oh now that would definitely destroy everything the church has worked for."
I smiled. "Have I told you how much I adore you?"
"You might have, but I do love to hear it." Remus teased.
"I suppose I could say it again, since you love hearing it. I adore you, Remus Lupin." I said, staring up at the first star of the night sky. "Star light, star bright. First star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight."
"It's probably not even a star," Remus chuckled. "With all the junk muggles are throwing into the sky."
"Yeah, I heard that they'd been to the moon..." I whispered in awe. "I mean, how cool is that?"
"Pretty cool." Remus laughed. "All of muggle science is pretty interesting, though I will say that magic proves some of muggle science wrong."
"You know... I was thinking of getting a flat in muggle London when I graduated, maybe getting a muggle job and spending a year seeing how they live." I smiled.
"That would be boring, trust me. My mom worked as a muggle nurse for a few weeks before she got fed up with not being able to heal even the slightest wounds with magic." Remus chuckled. "Said that they were stuck in the dark ages."
"Well, from what I've seen, they kind of are. Though the cars are cool. It would be so much easier moving luggage in a car than on a broom or whatever." I smiled.
"Yeah, but you couldn't even do a cleaning charm without the neighbors freaking out." He laughed.
"What would they think if they saw someone playing quidditch?" I laughed. "Gosh, that'd be a sight."
"Yeah, suppose it would."
"Rem, why can't we just all live in peace?" I sighed softly. "Why all this hiding?"
"Because if the we told the muggles about magic, they'd want us to do everything for them." He shrugged. "It'd put a lot of muggles out of jobs and over work all of us. Plus, they did try to kill us at one point."
"True enough." I sighed. The two of us stargazed and chatted until the sun started to rise over the lake without realizing a moment had passed.