Moonlight Melody

'It was a solemn tune and with each note that hung in the air I felt a pang in the pit of my stomach. I had spent a large part of my life wandering the dark forest and never once had I heard anything as enchanting as the music that was slowly drifting through the still night

The summer before 7th year Remus Lupin meets a girl who'd change his life forever...

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1. Reluctance

Chapter 1: Reluctance

 

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

 

--Robert Frost

 

 

 

It was the summer before graduation that I met her. The rest of the Marauders and I had made plans to spend that time together at James’s but I had changed my mind at the last moment, much to their dismay. It would be the last time I could be at home before I went off to secure my plans for the future, enjoying the comforts of home one last time felt right. I didn’t know it then, but it would be the best decision of my life.

 

I remember the first time I saw her at the cottage. Her dark brown hair shone brightly in the midday sun as she stepped out of her father’s truck. There was dust in the air but even so it wasn’t hard to tell that she was beautiful. I turned away, embarrassed, as she and her grandmother shared an intimate embrace. Old man Wittgens wasn’t even looking at me as he said his goodbye and I walked away quietly feeling the slightest bit curious about who she was but thinking nothing more of it.

 

Later that night I would again be reminded of her sudden appearance. My usually quiet walk through the neighboring forest was broken by the melodic sound of an instrument I did not recognize. My ears perked up and I turned to face the Wittgens place. It was a solemn tune and with each note that hung in the air I felt a pang in the pit of my stomach. I had spent a large part of my life wandering the dark forest and never once had I heard anything as enchanting as the music that was slowly drifting through the still night. I couldn’t ignore it and it wasn’t until the forest was silent once again that I realized I hadn’t moved. Slowly I tore my gaze from the cottage and continued along my unmarked path. Till this day, I can still recall every note from that moonlight melody and the unintentional message its player was sending.

 

Several days later we spoke for the first time.

 

It was the same place I had been visiting for years. A bit of shade under an old oak tree only a few feet from the brook. The thick trees provided just enough cover to drown out any sound the nearby highway could bestow and the babbling stream was particularly soothing. It was the perfect nook for an afternoon nap, or to do a bit of light reading, but mostly I found myself going there and sitting for hours contemplating on whatever it was that plaguing me. It was foolish of me to believe that such a place could exist only for my leisure. But in all my time, I had never once run into another person, until then. When I reached the familiar patch of grass there was someone already occupying the space.

 

An open book lay on her lap as her long legs stretched out in front of her. Her bare feet poked the only bit of sun that had managed to meander its way through the branches overhead. Surprised I stood there silently, wondering if she was even aware of my presence. If she had noticed how I easily I had managed to disturb her placid surroundings. I was about to speak when-

 

‘Is this your spot?’ she asked lazily flipping a page in her book without looking up.

 

There was another feeling of embarrassment, as if I had just intruded on a special moment. I wanted to apologize but then I remembered that she was the stranger in the scenario. ‘Yes-I mean no,’

 

I couldn’t just tell her to leave. It wasn’t private property and I really had no stake on the tree, no matter how long I had been enjoying its shade. And it wasn’t as if there weren’t any more trees around.

 

‘I’ll go,’ she said as she closed her book. It was then that she looked up at me. I was struck instantly by just how beautiful she was. Her eyes were a murky green with specks of gold. Black eyelashes framed their soft almond shape. Even at a distance I could see the numerous freckles along her nose and cheeks, contrasting slightly with her olive-colored skin. I turned away quickly before she could find it uncomfortable that I was staring. She hadn’t seemed to notice.

 

‘Nonsense,’ I intercepted, finding it hard to look at her, ‘I’ll just go right over there.’ I pointed a few yards down the stream where there stood another oak tree with just as much shade. Quickly, and without another word, I made my way towards it, dropping down rather clumsily. I ran my hand through my thick dark hair and frowned.

 

People always made me nervous whether they were magic folk or muggles. I supposed the polite thing I could have done was introduce myself. But what would I have said? ‘Hello my name is Remus. I hope my face doesn’t disgust you.’ As if in reflex my hand came upon my cheek feeling the heat rise beneath my fingertips. I was standing so close to her, there was no way she couldn’t have noticed. I dropped my hand.

 

I suppose some might call me good looking, if it weren’t for my scars. Thick and angry they cut lines across my neck, face, and most of my torso. Some, still fresh, were a violent shade of scarlet that even from a distance, could attract attention. Every time I looked upon my own reflection I was reminded of the vicious cruelty I suffered. I was reminded of the irreversible curse that was inflicted upon me, the likes of which would have led even the bravest man into madness. And I, very likely would have been victim to that madness, had it not been for my friends at Hogwarts. It was through their kindness and compassion that I had been able to deal with my unfortunate circumstance. And yet, even with all of my attempts at a normal existence, I found it difficult to relate to anyone outside of my intimate circle. I had become self conscious and, as anyone would confirm, a bit of a recluse.

 

Yet, as I sat there, I struggled internally. She was obviously a relative of the Mr. and Mrs. Wittgens, perhaps even their granddaughter, and I had known them for years so saying hello seemed like the right thing to do. My heart hammered in my chest as I came close to making up my mind but the moment never came. When next I looked up, she was leaving. I watched her disappear through the trees before heading home myself.

 

The next time I heard the music there was no doubt in my mind that it was her. It was just as somber as it had been the first night and I found myself, once again, listening intently. What was it that made her play in such a way? The answer to that question wouldn’t come easy; somehow I had to work up the nerve to share more than a few words with her.

 

If it had been up to me, that conversation may have never happened. But as faith would have it, she turned out to be a lot friendlier than I had anticipated.

 

‘You’re a friend of my grandparents?’ she asked me suddenly and quite loudly as we were sitting a distance apart. I had been returning to the oak tree every day since I saw her last in the hopes of running into her but once she was there I found myself unable to do more than just nod in her general direction. There was no way she would speak to me after that poor attempt at a hello, or so I thought.

 

‘Excuse me?’ I asked trying not to sound nervous.

 

She spoke a little louder, ‘my grandparents, you’re a friend of theirs?’

 

‘Oh yeah, sure,’ I answered my voice rising just as hers had done but apparently she still hadn’t heard me.

 

‘What?’

 

‘Yes, I am,’ I almost shouted. Above me a bird shrieked and darted out of the tree.

 

I think she nodded then, it was hard to tell.

 

‘Do you live around here?’

 

Even though I had stopped reading and was trying to focus, I still couldn’t hear. ‘What?’ I returned, finding the redundancy of the entire conversation rather amusing. I couldn’t help but smile.

 

‘Do you live-’ she began but then, ‘cripes, this is ridiculous!’ And with that, she picked herself up and walked over to where I was. Dropping herself only a few feet from where I was she crossed her legs beneath her, rested her face on her hand, and smiled.

 

‘I’m Adelle Wittgens.’

 

I was smiling, I had been since she sat down, and unlike other times it wasn’t forced.

 

‘Remus Lupin,’ I offered, extending my hand in a friendly gesture. She took it and for a brief second my heart raced. ‘I live just down the road a ways. I’ve known your grandparents for a while and occasionally do an odd job or two for them.’

 

Adelle nodded as if she understood and I continued, ‘It keeps me busy until the new term starts.’

 

‘So you’re in school?’ she asked with genuine interest. She was staring at me again. ‘You seemed older.’

 

I wondered if it was the scars and nodded, simply because it seemed like the right thing to do. Her next question was a little more amusing and had it been any other person I might have found it offensive.

 

‘Don’t you have friends?’ she asked and then before I had a chance to react she quickly added ‘that came out wrong. It’s just that its summer and people are usually as far away from home as they could possibly be.’

 

Trying to make her feel at ease I smiled. ‘Is that what you’re doing?’ I asked. She blushed obviously not expecting me to turn the question back around on her.

 

‘Sort of, my father and I are on an extended visit.’ There was finality in her tone and I wondered if she was done. We sat in the silence for a few minutes as I watched her play with a blade of grass. ‘We used to come here a lot when I was little. I remember how much fun I had running through the trees and splashing in the creek.’ Her eyes gazed out into the forest and beyond. For a second she seemed lost in thought and a hint of darkness caught her eyes. But as quickly as it had been there it was gone and she once again was smiling.

 

‘It’s different know that I’m older,’ she said and I agreed.

 

Every year I left for Hogwarts and every summer I returned to find the same forest that I had traversed a thousand times before, a little different. The same trees that had once loomed over my young figure seemed smaller and frailer. It wasn’t just the physical aspect either. Whereas before, when I was a boy, I thought the forest dark and unfamiliar, I now navigated through its thick brush without so much as a flinch of hesitation, welcoming its darkness. My gaze followed a path among the trees when I heard her sigh beside me. She looked tired.

 

‘Well, it’s been nice Remus,’ she said as she gathered her things and stood up. With a final glance in my direction, ‘maybe I’ll see you around.’

 

 

 

I couldn’t help but wish the same thing.

 

 ((A/N:: Ok, so it's a little slow but it will pick up, promise. I'm a little rusty so don't be surprised if it's a bad one. And I'll try and be persistant with this one. ALL of your comments and reviews are greatly apreciated!))

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