MAGIC & TIME
It wasn’t until later that night that Mika saw Lupin again. They met after dinner then went for a walk along the shores of the loch.
“I had a very funny conversation with Harry today,” Lupin said at last. “He wanted to know if you were my girlfriend.” He chuckled somewhat nervously.
“What did you tell him?” Mika asked quietly.
“Well, I wasn’t sure what to say really. I know what I think and feel, but not really sure about you. So I told him that you were… sort of.”
Mika chuckled. “I don’t think Harry is quite ready for all that romance stuff. I heard Ron pitched a major fit when he heard Ginny was dating someone at school.” Silence grew between them. “I’m glad you think of me as your girlfriend, even if that word does sound a bit…”
“Juvenile?” he finished for her and laughed himself, the tension easing.
“Though I suppose the concept is sound.” Silence again. “He also asked me the other day if we were going to married some day.”
“Children think in such absolutes don’t they?” he said quietly. It was something he hadn’t dared allowed himself to even contemplate let alone consider happening.
“So,” Mika said slowly. “You think such an idea is, well… ridiculous?” She glanced over at him. He was staring at the ground. She wished he would look up. She loved the look of the moon, now nearly full, reflecting in his deep blue eyes.
“Oh, no of course not…” he answered quickly. “Um, well, I mean. Well, yeah. I suppose I do but not because I wouldn’t want to marry you, Mika. Oh god no.” He moved closer and took her hands. “It’s just that I know such wonderful things just don’t happen to me. That’s all…” he let his voice trail off, worried that he’d said the wrong thing. He was good at teaching things, but when it came to expressing his feelings he hadn’t a clue what to say or how to say it.
But Mika seemed to understand what he meant. She held his hands to her hearts and peered into his eyes. “Why do you say such things, Remus? I know your life has been hard, but even you deserve happiness. And if even in some small way I can be a party to that happiness, well, then that makes me the happiest and luckiest… yes, luckiest woman alive.”
As she spoke, Lupin, not believing what he was hearing, had begun to shake his head. “How can being with me be lucky?” he whispered. “I am a curse to all who have ever known me. Nothing but trouble and strife follow me wherever I go. I have no home, no family, no job… yes, once the parents hear of my condition they will no longer welcome me as a teacher of their children. Even here I am a danger.” A tear escaped and fell upon Mika’s arm.
“You are not a burden nor a curse, Remus John Lupin. You are the most wonderful, warm, caring, gentle person I have ever met. I am sure that Dumbledore feels the same. The children all adore you, yes, even the ones who do know what you are.” He looked up, his eyes, moist with emotion, now glittered in the moonlight he dreaded so much. But to Mika it was one of the most beautiful sights she had ever seen.
“Remus, if it’s what you want, the only kind of trouble and strife you need have is me…” she couldn’t help but smile at her little joke.
He looked at her, puzzled for a moment before he remembered that ‘trouble and strife’ was the cockney rhyming slang for ‘wife’. He couldn’t help but laugh through his tears.
He took Mika in his arms and held her close. “Oh if only it were possible,” he whispered into her tiny ear.
“Well, why not?” Mika said suddenly. “What is preventing us?”
Lupin broke the embrace and looked into Mika’s violet eyes. Their inner light burned fiercely like a cluster of the brightest stars. “It’s… it’s just not possible. Is it?”
Mika’s smile was blinding. “Why not? You do love me don’t you?” she asked, searching his face.
“Oh, Mika, you know I do! In spite of trying not to I couldn’t help myself. I can’t help myself. I keep telling myself that it’s foolish, that I will only get hurt if I allow my feelings to become too deep…”
Mika put her finger to his lips to silence him. “Shhh, what nonsense you speak! I love you more than there are stars in the universe. I would never in a million lifetimes hurt you, Remus.” Tears were beginning to form at the corner of her eyes as well.
They stood staring at each other for what seemed like an eternity; Mika, waiting, Remus hoping beyond hope that this was real and that he wouldn’t wake up cold and alone in his bed.
She knew he was trying to come to terms with what she had suggested and remained silent to give him time to think. Slowly, gently she brushed her fingertips lightly along his cheeks, lovingly tracing the outlines of his numerous scars.
She brought his hand up to her lips and kissed it tenderly.
“Dare I even think it?” he breathed, watching the ghostly angel who stood before him. “Dare I say it?”
“Say it, Remus,” she whispered, her breath warm against his fingers.
He suddenly knelt down, her hand still clutched in his. “Mika, will you do me the most unbelievable honour of becoming my… wife?”
Mika felt her hearts swell with so much happiness that she feared they would burst. Her eyes were locked with his as he awaited her answer breathlessly. “You silly, romantic thing. Of course I’ll marry you!” she said pulling him to his feet.
Lupin couldn’t help himself as he felt such joy as he had never known in his life. He threw his arms around Mika and lifted her in the air, spinning her around in his embrace. They laughed joyously before settling into a deep and lasting kiss, signifying their love for each other and the happiness they had promised to enter together.