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March 10th, 1987

Returning to Britain was a mistake, Remus wrote in his letter to Peter that evening. I thought it was what I needed after last year’s disaster, but to be honest being back here makes it hard to breathe. Everything, all of it makes my skin crawl. The air, the rain, the people. And you’re not here.

Sharing a drink with Arthur Weasley had been the only bright spot. The man had cleared his schedule to meet him and for a few hours, life had been almost bearable.

He invited me to his home, Remus wrote, as I knew he would, but – The man has a family. His youngest children are Harry’s age. I’m nobody’s prodigal son.

Arthur had been hurt by his refusal, yet he had rallied and told Remus about a rumour that had come to the Ministry’s ears recently. “Something that resembles a Valkore reported as sighted on four different Shetland islands. No one is inclined to believe the locals yet - they don’t swim, after all - so whoever goes to suss things out will reap all the risks and benefits.”

It was the perfect gift, Remus wrote, the perfect excuse to set out once more. And, hard as it was to believe that Arthur had somehow wrangled it, for the first time in years Remus would be working under an actual contract.

 

March 10th, 1997

“Food, c’mon, Remus, you need it!” Remus blinked at Tonks as she reached for the cakes and sandwiches that Molly Weasley had sent.

He’d been all set to get drunk and write a letter, this time for the first time to a deserving recipient. But Tonks had found her way to his small hutt before breakfast with a bottle she had liberated from Orion Black’s stashes. She must have had hundreds of other, better things to do - Remus had things he ought to be doing -

The war was ploughing on and the Order was waltzing through Grimmauld Place as if its members had forgotten about Sirius already. Tonks – “if you must, call me Dora” - hadn’t insulted him by holding back to keep an eye on him, had matched him drink for drink.

The mousy brown hair - Remus had learned it was Ted Tonks’ Muggle mother’s hair colour - had begun sprouting a distinct gold shimmering strand like the streak of light she had somehow brought to his home.

Dora was not her mother who had loved Sirius, but she was -

He had told her about his time in Czechoslowakia and she’d spoken of her pre-war exploits. She was such a fine Auror -

Her tale about a chase though Muggle Edinburgh had even twice made him burst into laughter -

And she hadn’t made eyes at him or demanded anything he couldn’t give all day -

“A’right,” he said, no longer fighting a smile as he accepted the plate.

 

March 10th, 2007

Remus studied Andromeda through the steam rising from his cup as he sipped his tea. It had been some time since he’d really looked at her. It had been some time since she’d made an appointment for tea with just the two of them.

She looked her age, something he suspected Narcissa only did in her most unguarded moments, yet – healthy. The lines of sadness would likely never entirely leave her, but she no longer seemed weighed down by grief. “It’s good to see you well,” he said and meant it.

Andromeda smiled self-depreciatingly. “Did you know Harry is trying to find me a man?” she huffed. “Trying to get Teddy in on it, too.”

“He means well,” Remus sighed, hesitated, but then added: “He is scouting for a witch to set me up with, too.”

She looked at him over the rims of her glasses. Remus stared back, giving her that, appreciating that here she was, happy not to ask too many questions as long as her grandson was fine.

He’d never been the best son-in-law, and he could not include her in the plans he had with his family this afternoon, but he didn’t want her to be lonely. Not for the first time, he wished that she and Augusta could be friends, but as unfair as it was, her face’s resemblance to Bellatrix’ was such that it would always stand between them. Which left him with:

“Here’s to finding someone without Potter interference,” he offered, and they drank to it.

 

March 10th, 2017

Remus drew his eyes away from the small stage as Nahuel’s meander through the crowd came to a halt by his corner. “I’m fine,” he said in response to his friend’s questioning glance. “Though thank you for not putting me up there.”

They had done everything they could to make Remus’ attendance possible, a task that had been made easier by the fact that there was already a rotation to take over Remus’ classes during the full moon – but then said full moon had struck hard and Remus had barely managed to drag himself here.

“Port key travel strain,” Nahuel murmured. “Has to be. Our climate usually agrees with your transformation.”

Remus nodded tiredly in agreement and turned his attention back to where ‘Anselme Aguilar’ was answering questions. The assembled witches and wizards had, to Remus’ chagrin and relief, politely ignored his presence so far, even though Remus knew there were at least three who had a specific interest in his chapters of Caves.

‘Anselme’ cast a half-amazed glance in Remus’ direction when his recent answer drew applause. Remus grinned at him; he could practically hear what Severus would say right now: ‘They clapped, they listened, they asked intelligent questions. Mostly intelligent. Far more intelligent than I expected, in any case.’

Perhaps it was not such a bad thing that Remus’ health had held him back if it meant Severus could enjoy a few hours in the limelight.

“Do you think you’ll be able to join in tomorrow?” Nahuel asked.

Between now and then there were hours of sleep. Not to mention, Argentina had always been good to him. Remus inclined his head. “Tomorrow.”

 

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