You Were Never Like This
Chapter 12 - Christmas Tension and Moony's Hole
The sun weakly peeked through the windows of Remus' bedroom, threatening to fade away. It almost failed to light up the shabby suitcase belonging to him, peeling lettering reading R. J. Lupin. Dozing in and out of sleep on the bed was the professor himself, an arm hanging limply over the side and a slight snore coming from his direction. He, however, completely failed to struggle up to the sound of his door knocking.
"This is ridiculous," Shamari muttered under her breath and aimed her wand at the lock. "Alohomora!"
She kicked the door open and strode past Remus' many liquor cabinets, searching the room with her eyes. Witherspoon sighed in a disapproving way as she opened his bedroom door, finding him sprawled across the top of the bed spread, an empty bottle of brandy lying next to his head on the pillow. Tossing this out the window, she bent over and kissed him on the cheek. "Get up or you'll know why they call me the blonde of Ravenclaw."
Remus opened one eye cautiously. "I think I already do."
"Get up, NOW," Shamari ordered impatiently.
A sly, daring grin snuck up to his mouth, but was quickly dashed as he was literally thrown out of bed onto the floor. Expelling a rude exclamation, he sprang to his feet and grabbed the nearest - most decent - robe. He was dragging a comb with many missing teeth through his unruly hair when he noticed Shamari looking through his bag and throwing various bottles of spirits out the window.
"Hey!" Lupin protested hotly. "That's what keeps me going!"
The other professor looked over at him, trying to keep her temper in check. "Isn't that what I'm for?"
A blush flooded over his cheeks and he busied himself with a last minute slip of the hip flask into his robe. Shamari tutted and removed it, shaking it in front of his face. "You can do without this, believe me. I went through the same thing - 'cept I was sixteen at the time."
Gently, she set it aside and teasingly flicked his hair up. Grumbling only a little, Remus picked up his suitcase and followed her down to a carriage to take them to the Hogsmeade Station.
Remus pulled out a robe and stuck it behind his head as a pillow and shut his eyes, hoping for a good doze for once. A thump in the side brought him up from it in a few seconds though.
"Ow," he announced almost calmly. "Why did you do that?"
Shamari flashed him an innocent smile then kissed his nose gently. Lupin raised his eyebrows, almost asking. She laughed nad got up to lock the compartment door, explaining, "Don't want anyone to come in uninvited do we?"
The Hogwarts Express pulled up at Platform 9 ¾, pulling to a graceful stop. No sooner had it arrived were the students disembarking for the Christmas holidays. It would be notable that two professors hadn't managed to pick up their luggage immediately. However, the only student who would notice was spending his holidays looking through books about how to become an Animagus.
Once most students had left, chattering about presents and the like, Remus Lupin stuck his head out the door. The driver was leaning against the barrier with something of a dignified smirk on his face. So much for secrecy. Grinning almost sheepishly, Lupin disappeared from view then came lugging two trunks with him. The driver helped dump them onto the platform.
"Nice trip, sir?" the driver wanted to know innocently.
Remus told him, putting it politely, to go away. Getting the hint, the driver winked and strolled away down the platform towards a wizened man hunched over a table. Shamari came out and looked over at the other professor curiously, "Who were you talking to?"
"No one," Lupin replied airily. "Just myself."
They took a Muggle taxi as far as they could, Shamari having to pay the driver due to some initial confusion with the trading of pounds and other such currency. Already the sky was dark, the stars hiding their faces behind a curtain of mystery. The street lamps in the area had gone out, one emitting a final thunk before dying out. Remus pulled out his wand. "Lumos!"
He began lugging his trunk after him, paused and looked around. Witherspoon was sitting on hers, staring back at him calmly. She explained coolly, "I'm not going to carry this a long way."
"Fine," he snapped. "Stay here."
And began to trudge along the road. Remus stopped again, bit his lip and grinned. He doused his wand and crept back to where he thought she would be. He found her trunk, hands slipping from the moisture gathering on it. Problem - where was she? He swallowed, calling quietly, "Shamari? Are you about?"
The rustling from the trees on either side unnerved him slightly, because he couldn't hear anything else. He realized he had dropped his wand and knelt down to get it, but his hands only found the roughly tarred road. Remus cleared his throat loudly and said, "Didn't your mummy ever tell you not to steal?"
"There are some exceptions," said a voice in his ear.
Lupin was too relieved to snap back at her so instead grabbed his wand and lugged her trunk up to his, gesturing none too politely for her to do her own grunt work. Shamari replied by pulling out what looked like whisky and tipping it onto the road, watching it rush down the slight easement with relish. There was no suitable retaliation for that, so he let it pass.
Soon a drizzle had caught up with them, succeeding in making Remus much more grumpier and extremely wet. His companion did not offer to share her raincoat, having the nerve to start humming to herself. She began to increase in volume until she decided to sing out gaily. She ducked, missing the thrown book in her direction, then bringing it to her hand with her wand.
"Respect your property," was all she said.
Remus muttered to himself. The rain continued to spread its gloom, quick to allow fog to blanket the air with its secrecy. Witherspoon sneezed suddenly - then again. Floating back through the fog came Remus' voice, "Bless you."
She couldn't help herself - "Achoo!"
Surprisingly, the Care of Magical Creatures professor offered no response or snide remark. Taking this as an unspoken announcement that they had arrived, Shamari turned abruptly and lugged her trunk off into the trees. The pines clung to her, prickling and teasing. The scent made her sneeze again - louder this time. By now she was thoroughly annoyed, borderline of what so many at Hogwarts had dubbed, fighting to keep straight faces, "the blonde of Ravenclaw".
"Remus!" she gritted to the pines surrounding her.
Uncertainly she looked back and saw that the forest had closed up around her.
"Shit," She added crossly.
She could have sworn she heard Remus laughing from not so far away. Lightning ripped across the sky, adding mocking to its journey. It was shortly followed by a booming crack of thunder. The rain pounded down relentlessly, but the fog drifted back a little. She watched her breath steam away, vanishing into the wall of greenery. By now, her temper was fading away, replaced by a thrill of fear. She hated forests, hated them ever since...
She distracted from this train of thought because Remus Lupin jumped out of the wall of pines, shouting, "Boo!"
The scream escaped Shamari before she could bite it back. Startled, Remus jumped backwards and tripped over a rock, landing flat on his back. Witherspoon was furious and let loose a volley of swear words in his direction. Instead of laughing, he got to his feet and wrapped his arms around her.
"Sorry," he added a little anxiously. "Didn't mean to scare you."
Shamari started laughing. "You're so stupid!"
Remus grinned manically, grabbed her trunk and began heaving it. The pines parted for him, Shamari rushing through the gap before they could close again. They had reached a grassy clearing, sporting proudly a run down two- story shack of a house and a bed of withered weeds. Banging against the wooden door was a sign, etched with the words: Moony's Hole.
Remus rescued his trunk, which was sitting patiently on the porch, by giving it a good kick. He was about to administer the same to Shamari's trunk, but she pushed him aside and gently slid it in. He opened his mouth to say something, but ended up landing his butt just inside the door.
"Touchy, touchy," he wheezed. "Do you like my humble abode?"
His companion flicked back her wet long blonde hair so that it splashed on him, then shut the door with a snap and whirled her wand in the direction of the fireplace. Flames rose up and began to eat hungrily at abandoned logs lying desolately amongst the ashes. The DADA professor looked around and drawled, "Not as good as mine, but it will do."