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Ah, the moon's too bright
The chain's too tight
The beast won't go to sleep
I've been running through these promises to you
That I made and I could not keep
Ah, but a man never got a woman back
Not by begging on his knees

Friday, May 4 • Evening



Before he'd popped down to Glen Hollow after his final afternoon class to pick up a very necessary component to tonight's plans, Lupin had asked one of the house-elves to tidy his quarters for a private dinner for himself and Professor Sinistra.

In retrospect, the need to repeat himself that while yes, it was a special occasion but no, it wasn't a secret from Izabel and the elf didn't need to worry about that should have tipped Remus off; he returned to a set of rooms transformed.

Instead of the comfortable mix of old books and scrolls, occasional DADA object and, a recent addition, samples of paint colors and cottage plans — his quarters could now be photographed for Witch Weekly.

Remus whistled lowly and inspected the table that had been set up in the main room. Impeccable white tablecloth he was nearly afraid to touch, sparkling tableware, crystal candlesticks he didn't remember having seen in the castle's collection before, but then who knew with house-elves.

He walked into the bedroom, and his amazement turned into laughter; there were even mints on the pillows. The elves had apparently done their able best to change his humble quarters into a high-end hotel suite.

It was more than Remus had requested, but he knew better than to argue with the results.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stepping into what she thought was Remus' quarters, Izabel looked around and quickly returned to the hall to double check her location.

There's that suit of armor and it's the right door...

Closing the door behind her, Izabel waited there.

"Remus? Did you move and not tell me?"
"I think one of the house-elves decided 65-year-old Sneakoscopes aren't the way to decorate. I think I'm hurt."

Remus came out of the bedroom, adjusting one of his cuffs.

"But I'm still here. You look wonderful."

It'd been eons since he'd been able to give Izabel a proper welcoming kiss — time to make up for that.
To hell with decorating.

Deciding she'd rather get reacquainted with the way Remus kissed, Izabel took the opportunity to give as good as she got. Her hands had started out in the area of his chest, but ended up on his bum.

Tonight? Maybe?

"You look nice too," she said in a husky murmur when he broke the kiss and couldn't resist giving him a nip on the ear lobe. "But you have far too many clothes on. Have you ever heard of Butlers in the Buff? I could get you one of their uniforms quite quickly."
He had the evening planned out, he told himself. He was going to do this right — no saying to hell with it and picking her up and taking her back to the other room and tearing off the dress whose fabric was sliding under his fingers right now.

"I ..." Lupin cleared his throat. "I can only imagine. I suppose the house-elves would be offended if you offered the uniform to them ... so I guess that leaves it to me."

He wasn't doing such a good job of convincing himself to stay on track.

We could always eat later — it'll keep.

"I rested all day yesterday in hopes of staying up all night tonight," Remus confessed, resting his forehead on hers.

"But before we do get rid of these clothes ... I've got something in my pocket I need to give back to you."
Having a very good idea of what it was and not wanting to get teary eyed and ruin the evening, Izabel sent him a smoky look from under her lashes.

"There's an old joke about pockets and bananas, Remus. I'm only going to warn you once - it better not be a banana."
"If you want fruit, there should be strawberries in a dish over there," he offered with a wry smile. "But no, it's not a banana."

The one good thing about having to do this all over again was getting to do it properly. This time, Lupin got down on one knee.

"I've decided to emerge from my den, Izabel. I don't know if I ever would have if I hadn't known you'd be here — I fall apart without you, which I knew before this spring, just as I knew I loved you ... and I'm so sorry it's taken me this long to come through the darkness back to where we should have been months ago."

It was no more than the truth, to be confessed simply and honestly while looking up into her eyes.

Remus slipped the ring he'd retrieved from Glen Hollow back onto Izabel's finger.

"Marry me."
Oh - bugger.

So much for no water works,
Izabel thought as she blinked rapidly. Watching him, listening to what he said, her mind went back over the past few bad months. Sinking down on her knees to join him, Izabel squeezed the hand that still held hers while the other one stroked the side of his face.

She wanted to protest, tell him he would have made it back on his own and he would have she was sure, but it would probably have been much, much later when he was tired of running away from their future.

Later.

"Yes, with only one condition," she said with a watery smile. "We take a page from Harry and Daphne's book and do it now or first thing in the morning. If you think I'm going to wait around for a planned wedding and give you the chance to change your mind again - you're very, very wrong. I got the name of the man that married them from Diane Greengrass and he's very accomidating."
You reap as you sow.

The phrase rebounded through Remus' head as he listened to Izabel, concern written on his face. He didn't regret most of what he'd done, in pushing her away when he was so very unstable — Izabel's safety was simply the most important thing under the sun. But this distrust was a direct result of that; he'd have to accept that, no matter how it pained him.

"Izabel. I'm not going to run away from you, ever again. I couldn't even if I wanted to. We don't have to rush."
The smile on her face faultered a bit, but returned.

"I understand," she said softly. "You're ready to be engaged again, but not so sure about the being married part. I'll wait."
Remus shook his head and leaned forward to kiss Izabel, slowly and searchingly.

"It's not that. Never that."

They needed to talk a bit, and kneeling on the floor wasn't the best place for that; Lupin moved them over to the couch and gathered her into his arms.

"As far as I'm concerned, you're already my wife. I just ... want there to be a fuss made over you. Showers and parties and whatever it is you women do. I want Vera and Daphne to be able to use the plans Vera has warned me a few times now that they've been making for us. I want all of our friends to be with us when I see you walking down the aisle toward me."

He knew he shouldn't let the thought of what, for example, Snape would think influence their lives, but if he were to be honest ...

"And I don't want it to be said that our wedding was something that had to be done hastily or in secret."
"Can't we do both?" Izabel asked. "One just for us and one later for our friends?"
He was about to protest — but then stopped to consider her proposal.

Why not have both?

The expense of it, for one. A rational voice in his head pointed out. Weddings weren't cheap, and there was the cottage to finish building and to furnish, so having two ... But one just for us would cost barely anything at all.

Remus raised an eyebrow.

"That would mean two honeymoons."

And double anniversaries.

He could handle that; werewolves paid close attention to the calendar.
She called his raised eyebrow and raised him a chuckle.

"I don't know if we could get away this close to the end of term for an extended honeymoon, but we'd have the weekend at least. Does that mean yes?"
Lupin took a breath and nodded.

"Yes. I'll marry you."