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The secret marriage vow is never spoken
The secret marriage never can be broken
Friday, June 1 • Morning



"I think we have it from here, Poppy." Lupin leaned slightly on Izabel's shoulder, grateful to be back at the castle. His voice was hoarse and low. "Thank you as ever."

They had a lot to be thankful for, as it were. The night had gone well, which meant Remus was ready to say goodbye to the Shrieking Shack, and the extra supervision he'd requested, once more.

Once the Mediwitch was safely out of hearing range, he confessed, "I think the walk from the Willow is considerably longer than when I was a teenager."
 
 
 
 
 
 
I should have thought of this down there.

Izabel shot him a look that was half amused and half sympathetic as she drew her wand and applied a modified levitating spell. The corner of her mouth quirked as his feet floated a tiny bit off the floor.

"Behave and I'll let you pretend to walk while I guide our path," she nearly whispered as they moved toward his quarters. "If you protest, I'll have to sling you over my shoulder and there goes all pretense at any sort of dignity left."
Smiling hurt his cheekbones, which were still protesting the transformation into a snout and back — but he couldn't help it as his feet left the floor. It wasn't the first time Remus had been manouvered with the same skill and care the Astronomy professor used to handle her beloved telescopes.

"No protests here. It puts me in good company, after all — although if we start to make a habit of this I might be in danger of envying your 'scopes when they get the same treatment."

Remus's arm went to encircle Izabel's waist for added balance while they ... while she walked and he "walked."

"It's not so bad, really," he explained. "I'm just anxious to move on; for the next moon we'll just have to walk from the cottage to Glen Hollow, and after that, it will simply be a matter of walking up the stairs."

Lupin felt it was slightly unfair to resent the Shrieking Shack, which had done its part well over the years in concealing his secret, but too much misery had happened there. He was more than ready to move on.

"And if you want to throw me over your shoulder there ... that will only be fair."
A merry giggle made several of the portraits lining the hall tilt their heads to try and see who was laughing. Izabel pinched Remus' bum under the cover of his robes before nodding her head.

"That could be arranged, Professor Lupin. I might be able to persuade Roger to teach me to toss one of those rope circles in your direction for a bit of diversion now and then."
That sounded good — but still Lupin looked down cautiously at his wife.

"As long as Davies himself doesn't have to rope me as some sort of demonstration, I suppose that would be ... interesting."
He was such a good sport, Izabel was almost - but not quite - ashamed of herself as they neared his quarters.

"Sweetheart," she said with a delighted smile on her face, "I was teasing. But your response is enough to make me wonder exactly what you'd let me get away with if I wanted to do something really - strange. Maybe I'll talk to Doris and get some ideas."
Did it count as opening the door for someone when she was responsible for moving you to the door? A part of Remus' brain still a bit loopy from the transformation pondered that bit of etiquette.

"They're completely different areas of activity, of course, but compare it to some of the things Sirius and James proposed and I went along with," Lupin pointed out, unperturbed. "Anything you could come up with, I've a feeling, will have both fewer consequences and greater rewards."
Maneuvering them both through the door and into the bedroom didn't take long. Making sure Remus was steady, Izabel removed the levitating charm when they were near the bed and then grinned at him before releasing her hold.

"I'll give you a few days to recover and then we'll test that theory, shall we?" she asked while moving to turn down the bedding. "Do you want pajamas?"
Lupin wobbled a bit but managed to stay upright. "Yes, please."

He sat down on the edge of the bed and gingerly began removing his shoes.

"I'd go without, but then I'm always thinking: What if there's a fire or other emergency? Then there'd be a naked and scarred werewolf running around the castle." He chuckled. "I think it's preferred we traumatize the students in the classrooms, and not out of them."
After placing a pair of fresh pajamas by his side, Izabel knelt and batted Remus' hands away from his shoes. Glancing up at him, she took over the job of rendering him barefoot.

"You worry about things above the waist and leave the rest to me," she advised him and took the opportunity to tease him.

"I don't know if seeing you run naked through the castle would traumatize all the students or not. I know of a couple who would probably try and trip you in order to provide help back up and the opportunity to do a little groping instead. Like the one who sent that last little love note."
Chastened, Lupin did as he was told and started unbuttoning his shirt and struggled not to blush.

"I see. Instead of traumatized students, we would have a traumatized me."
Having finished rendering him barefoot, Izabel rose to her knees and gently pulled his head down for a quick kiss. She grinned before starting to unfasten his trousers.

"Don't worry, darling husband," she said while raising a brow. "I'm not about to let those wicked students have their way with you, I'm finding I'm a tad jealous. If anything like that should ever occur - they'd find out just how far and wide the range is on my levitating charm."
There was a sort of glint in Izabel's eye, and between that and the fact that she was kneeling in front of him and undressing him ...

"If I weren't half-dead, Mrs. Lupin," Remus said ruefully as he shrugged out of his shirt, "I'd have something to say about 'wicked ways.'"

He reached out to stroke her cheek and brush his thumb across her lips before deciding to listen to the weariness in his bones telling him to behave and pull on the pyjama top.

"Come back tonight for dinner in bed and maybe we'll work on our respective jealousy issues?"
Leaning the side of her face into his hand and giving the thumb a kiss of its own, Izabel smiled gently when it was removed.

"Mrs. Lupin," Izabel said in a tone of voice that she would have denied to her dying day was in any way dreamy.

"I doubt I'll ever get tired of hearing those particular words spoken together in your voice, Mister Lupin. And what makes it even better - it's our little secret right now. Vera's probably going to be angry with me for weeks, but it's worth it."

After persuading the trousers to leave his legs Izabel stood, retrieved the shirt and socks he'd worn and placed them in a hamper before picking up the top of the pajamas. Turning the garment around, Izabel held it up to her own shoulders and the glint Remus had noticed earlier returned.

"Dinner in bed sounds like an excellent idea. Shall I keep this part of your wardrobe to wear in case I spill something?"
The hand Remus had extended to take the top from her faltered and fell back to the bed. He swallowed hard; all the saliva seemed to have left his mouth.

"I think that sounds ... prudent." Prudent, perfect and a few other choice words besides.

Lupin used his wand to Summon his pyjama pants — Izabel had done enough; he could manage that much — then placed it safely on the side table.

"And Vera will forgive us. If not, it will be awkward for her to be a guest at the dinner party to inaugurate the cottage." The fabric slid up his legs and he was ready for bed; now that there was so very much to look forward to later, sleep was becoming a greater lure to pass the time until dinner.

"I've been trying to think of a fitting name for the cottage," Lupin said as he slipped between the sheets. So civilized. Such a change from the cage upon the dirty floor in the Shrieking Shack.

"Every home should have a name."
It didn't really matter to Izabel what he named their home. As long as he was there with her, it could be called Upper or even Lower Mongolia and she would be happy. Giving him a kiss and pulling the bedding a little higher she smiled and straighted.

"Sleep and maybe your dreams will give you a name. If not - one will occur to you in plenty of time to christen it."

Going to the door of the bedroom she looked back.

"I'll see you later," she promised and blew him a kiss before heading out the door, closing it softly behind her.