Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Enchanted2 Reviews
Forest Lily shows Remus that mistletoe can have dazzling effects on one's mood.
Rating/Genre: PG/Supernatural - General
Summary: Forest Lily shows Remus that mistletoe can have dazzling effects on one's mood.
Disclaimer/Warnings: I do not own any part of canon /Harry Potter/./None
Feedback/Archiving/Contact: Feedback and archiving are appreciated. I should know where the story is going, and feedback should be helpful in some way./betagirl23 at yahoo dot com - http://livejournal.com/users/dmitchell1985
Author's Notes: This was originally supposed to be a drabble, but it sort of ran away with itself. Still no clue on where most of the ideas for this story came from. It was written for The Pimp Cane's (LiveJournal Community) "Mistletoe" Challenge. A quick "hello" to Lucy (Occasus or OccasusVenustas, depending on the site).
Remus crushed his way through the snow that was piled up to his ankles, and the Forbidden Forest's underbrush. He needed some time to be alone. Time to think to himself. Time alone that did not involve him exploding into a murderous beast, or ripping out his own skin.
His transformation had been the undeserved torment that it always was last night, and he yearned to get away from the all-too-happy smiles, and repulsive holiday cheer. Remus Lupin had had enough of holiday cheer, and singing suits of armor, for now.
He pushed aside an unfamiliar clump of bushes, and stepped into a brightly lit clearing that was remarkably devoid of any snow. In all of his stolen trips into the Forest, he had never come across this clearing before. He wondered where it could have come from, or why in the darkening veins of the Forest, the trees would thin to allow in despised sunlight. It did not make logical sense at all.
Remus attempted to mute his steps by tip toeing, but in the deadened silence, his footsteps echoed harshly back at him as a mockery of his efforts. Though the crackling sounds of Remus' steps upon the grass returned to him in the most peculiar fashion, the resulting echo seemed exaggerated, even for all of the noise he was causing.
Before Remus could turn to investigate what could be the source of the excess racket, a voice behind him alerted Remus to its owner's presence.
"Did you come to see the mistletoe too?"
The high, self-assured voice pulled at an inkling of recognition in a far corner of Remus' mind. He chanced any potential surprise at who he might set his eyes upon as his slowly spun to face the person who had obviously followed him.
Surrounded by several reaching branches of the threatening bushes was an uptight Lily Evans. This was a Lily Remus had never seen before. Though he knew Lily was gifted with an overwhelming bush of burnt copper hair, it had never been arranged so carelessly in all the time that Remus had been acquainted with Lily. This Lily appeared as if she belonged to the Forest, and it parted its leaves only for her.
"Did you come to see the mistletoe too?" the unusual specimen whom Remus knew would adamantly claim to be Lily Evans, inquired once more in the same hopeful tone.
"Um, mistletoe?" Remus repeated absently.
"Yes, the enchanted mistletoe that sprouts at this time of year in this clearing. You cannot find the clearing any other time of the year," Forest Lily grinned in an irritatingly cheerful manner.
Forest Lily's expression captured every overly celebrated tradition Remus desired to escape for a few hours. Running into Lily, and her inane exuberance, made Remus feel quite cross. He opened his mouth to snap at her before his famed practicality could stop him.
"No, I do not know what mistletoe you are talking about. I have walked through this forest many times during all four seasons, and have never seen this clearing in all of my trips here. How do you explain that?" Remus glared at the young lady with more accusation than he intended.
"Easy. The clearing does appear only once a year, but specifically to those who it has met before, or those who need it most. If you've had a death happen recently, or endured some type of great tragedy or trauma, the clearing will make itself known to you. Has someone you love died recently?" Forest Lily's voice took on a twist of motherly concern.
Still annoyed at having been followed when he simply wanted to be alone, Remus narrowed his eyes at the Forest's nymph. "No."
"A trauma, or tragedy then?"
"That is none of your business," Remus turned his eyes to the circle of trees and bushes that began to quiver. "What's going on?"
"Oh, that's just the mistletoe getting ready to make its appearance. We're here, and it wants to be seen by its chosen audience."
"Why do you talk about the mistletoe and this clearing as if they are alive?"
"Because they are. There is life to be found in many unsuspecting places."
"Is that so? The Lily I know would not go about believing silly notions like mystical clearings."
"Are you saying that you find this magic hard to believe, when everyday we make things happen with what are essentially sticks? That is a tad hypocritical, don't you think?" it was then that Forest Lily actually began to look annoyed. "I am not sure why the clearing would make itself known to you. You don't appreciate it all!"
"I did not say that. I just find the entire situation to be odd," Remus' eyes darted between the increasingly angry young woman in front of him, and the bushes that shook ever more violently.
Ere either could utter another word, the foreboding rumble of bushes, trees, and even earth whipping about erupted into flares of multiple colored showers of sparks. When the shimmering lights began to merge and float downward to the forest floor, magnificent blooms of mistletoe burst from the branches of the quieting bushes. The glittering glow that pulsed and flickered from the forest floor lit the entire clearing in flashes of red, gold, green, cobalt, and fuchsia.
Remus could not wrap his gaze around the unbelievable sight nearly enough to sate his awe. Forest Lily twirled around with her arms spread wide to the dazzling show.
"Isn't it wonderful Remus? It gets better every year!"
Remus watched a Lily he was most unaccustomed to seeing twirl and prance while he decided how to answer her.
"Yeah, it is. How many times have you seen?"
"Every year since I came to Hogwarts. I used to come to the Forest just to think, and that first Winter, I stumbled onto this place. I have returned every year since."
"Has anyone else come here besides you?"
"Yes, several of the teachers, and if you will believe it, /Severus Snape/. I thought about intentionally bringing others here, but the clearing chooses its audience every year. I haven't seen anyone else return for more than one Winter, other than myself."
"I thought you said that it allows in those it already knows."
"It does, but I suppose that there must be an underlying requirement as well. Or that the people did not need to see the mistletoe again."
"If that is the case, why do you need to see it every year?" Remus deliberately prodded to unearth what could possibly faze Lily Evans, other than school boys who turn one another upside down in the presence of their classmates.
"It started with my mother's death. Then other members of my family would go missing. Then, well," Forest Lily stopped spinning and settled her eyes upon a particularly large bloom. "Unspeakable things. . . "
Remus had never known Lily to suffer from anything but an overly active maternal instinct. He wondered which things she considered "unspeakable", as there were numerous qualifying examples that Remus did not wish to think about. Examples that included becoming a werewolf every Full Moon.
"Oh," was all that he said in acknowledgement of Lily's confessions.
"What brought you here Remus?"
"Um," Remus bit his lip. "Unspeakable things."
Forest Lily nodded in understanding, and opened her mouth to speak. "I usually stay longer, but I have homework to catch up on. I had to come and see the clearing though. It would not be Winter without the clearing, or its mistletoe and lights."
Remus was unsure of what to say, so he stood quietly and nodded.
"It's a funny thing, mistletoe. It is often associated with the sweetest affection, kissing, but could kill you if you put it in your mouth. I always found that to be an intriguing contrast. Don't you?"
Remus thought over Lily's words briefly. "I suppose that I do." Remus smiled at the interesting contrast he saw in Lily herself.
Within moments of telling Remus that she had to go, Forest Lily became regular Lily again. Her gaze focused to become more controlled, and less wild. Her hair seemed to tame itself without the prompting of a comb or brush. Remus stared at Lily's own transformation, speechless. There could be no words for what he just witnessed.
As Lily turned to leave, she glanced back over her shoulder at the still mute Remus. "By the way, tell James that I will go out with him. I see that he has left Severus alone, and I am no longer subjected to seeing his underwear," Lily grinned at her glade's companion.
Remus mirrored the earnest grin with one of his own, "Will do."
Lily stepped through the glimmering color that continued to dance and glisten upon the forest floor in an entrancing flow of illumination.
Lily halted and turned back to Remus, "Yeah?"
Lily grinned once more, "Happy Christmas Remus." She slipped between two bushes that grew huddled together, and was gone, leaving Remus feeling wholly content in a manner than he had no memory of experiencing before.
As he exited the clearing with a silent nod of thanks to the comforting enchantment, he decided to return the following year, even though graduation would come in the Spring.