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MAGIC & TIME

Chapter 12

A Message

After dinner Mika and Hermione went for a walk around the courtyard to discuss what they had uncovered in their research, which wasn’t much. The rain had stopped and the night was cloudy and cold. Still, the fresh air helped to clear Mika’s head.

 

Mika pulled a packet of sweets from her pocket to offer to Hermione when something fell out onto the ancient stones of the courtyard.

 

“Oh yes, that envelope you received from the owl,” Hermione remembered. “Go on, open it.”

 

Popping a sweet into her mouth, Mika started to break the seal on the envelope. Suddenly she felt a tap on her shoulder.

 

“Do you have one of those for me?” a familiar rough voice asked. Mika looked up to see Lupin standing over her, smiling. She couldn’t help but return the smile; she hadn’t seen him in days. Hermione offered up the bag of sweets which he took, thanking her, and peered in to select one. “What’s that you have there?” he asked, his curiosity piqued.

 

 

“We don’t know,” Hermione answered. “An owl delivered it just before dinner.”

 

Mika, still a little nervous about receiving strange messages had a feeling she might know who it was from. There was only one person she could imagine would be so cowardly as to send her an anonymous message. She broke the seal and opened the envelope. Inside it contained a small piece of parchment and a small object.

 

The note inside read:

 

Please find enclosed the requested formula for the Wolfsbane potion. I have also enclosed the most popular and effective cure known for this certain ‘affliction’.  ~ S.

 

Mika took out the object and examined it in the dim light of the courtyard lamps. It was a silver bullet.

 

Hermione gasped, her hand flying to her mouth, and Mika went cold as they realised the implication. “Oh, Remus,” she stood and turned to face him, trying desperately gauge his reaction. “I’m so sorry you had to see that,” she said.

 

Lupin shook his head as if he was used to it. “It’s all right, Mika. Just Snivellus’ idea of a cruel joke.” He seemed to be taking it well, but the ladies knew better.

 

Hermione caught Mika’s look and stood to go. “I’m sorry, Professor. But at least we have the formula. If it’s not a joke too,” she sighed. Mika squeezed her shoulder in gratitude as she left then turned to Lupin.

 

“But it’s not all right, is it?” she asked. She could see the mixture of sadness and anger in his eyes. But Remus Lupin was a gentle man, and he had lived with the curse long enough to have become almost immune to the cruel taunts and prejudices of others. That still did not make it hurt any less.

 

He tried to put on a brave face for Mika, but she could tell it was only for show. Sighing, she slid her arms about his waist and gave him a gentle hug, resting her head against his chest. This succeeded well in distracting Lupin from the cruel message, though he wasn’t sure what to do now. Awkwardly he put his arms about her and held her tightly. He couldn’t help but close his eyes and smile, the closeness of this enchanting woman was intoxicating. Needless to say, he hadn’t found himself in this situation very often.; in fact, never.

 

“Oh, Remus,” Mika whispered as the cold, night breeze whipped their robes about them. “Why can’t they just leave you in peace? Why must everyone persecute you so? Why can’t I find the antidote and free you from this curse? Why?” She looked up at him, her tear-filled violet eyes glittering like two amethysts in the glow of the lamps. The night air was cold, but it was warm where their bodies pressed together. He felt he could remain like this forever.

 

“Don’t worry about it, Mika,” he smiled. “Everyone’s given a lot in life and you just have to get on and deal with it. At least I’m not a vampire or a zombie,” he chuckled softly.

 

Mika smiled too and blinked causing the tears that she was so desperately trying to hold back to escape. Remus gently wiped them away, his eyes still locked on hers. Then Mika began to giggle.

 

“Just do it,” she said finally.

 

He looked at her for a long moment not sure what she was talking about, but then it dawned on him. Here he was standing in the darkness by the fountain, with a beautiful woman in his arms. Wait a minute, he’d seen enough movies; he should know what to do. What else should he do but kiss her?

 

Slowly he lowered his lips to hers. In that instant he forgot he was a werewolf and she was an alien from another time, another place. He forgot they were at Hogwarts and that it was dark and cold and windy. He forgot everything but that he was locked in an embrace with the most beautiful, kind and loving creature he had ever known to exist. Best of all, she genuinely seemed to want to be there.

 

When they parted, Lupin chuckled. "You taste like peppermint."

 

"And you taste like butterscotch," Mika giggled and kissed him again.

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