They always say seeing is believing and so Remus Lupin has little choice but to believe. Second in the Calloway series, original character. One shot.
He hadn't believed. Not until he saw the ring. Muggle-made and understated. As if she would accept anything more ostentatious. It wouldn't be sensible; it would catch on her robes. With her studies, with her future, she couldn't afford any delays in movement.
He stared at her hand as it rested lightly on the table. Already, she carried the weight unconsciously, unaware and unconcerned. Simple gold band, faceted sapphire, like the eye of a fly, set deep within it. It was true, after all, and he felt vaguely ill. Sick to his stomach. She hadn't said a word about it to him. Not yet.
That shouldn't have made his blood chill, though. It wasn't any of his business if she accepted someone's proposal. If she got engaged. He had heard the bloke was a Muggle, older, lived in Edinburgh. Merlin only knew how they had met. Overall, though, everything he heard... Well, it sounded alright. She would never agree to be with someone less than herself, someone she had to carry and protect. It was why they... No, nonsense and stupidity. She always knew what she was doing and the man was probably lovely. A nice, stable bloke who would understand her life and work with her as much as a Muggle could with a witch of her caliber.
Still, he had to admit, he had never pictured her mundane. Marriage, house, children. Perhaps that was just him, though, living in his own head and images of her. He supposed it was all possible. Anything was possible with her. After all, how well did he really know her? It wasn't as if she told him her dreams and secrets during their long hours, heads together, bodies close, working in the library. How well did he really know her?
Sensible, practical, logical, brilliant, wicked way with words - of course. She had spirit, too. A complete fearlessness. He had watched her face down professors, bullies, man-eating plants when they had slipped into Greenhouse #5 to snatch some things for a potion she had been dying to try. She never stopped, always went, always moved. She laughed so much. Even when she was scolding you, her eyes were warm and so often danced.
Except for when she caught them, no, caught James and Sirius... He had never seen her so furious. Standing frozen and staring, he could only watch as she tore into his friends, sending punishments and promises of more punishments flying through the air with every breath. Then the long, shame-faced march to be reported... She had been angry with him, too, after that. Not for doing anything, of course. He never did anything. That was the problem, she snapped. He. Never. Did. Anything. Guilt by inaction, out of favor for silence. Cowed by her, he had worked without words, hunched and waiting for the axe to fall.
Two curses on one head simply wasn't fair.
She had forgiven him eventually, quickly. Of course. They were friends...
"And I've already got my interview at the Ministry so I've really got to trouble some people for letters and things and, Remus, you aren't listening." He looked up, blinking and moon-eyed. She sighed. "You haven't heard a word I said, have you?"
Of course he hadn't. His thoughts had been of her, filled and already missing painfully.
"Okay, mate, what's the matter? You haven't said a blessed word since I sat down here because, Circe knows, 'hello' doesn't count." Concern drowned in those dark blue eyes. "What's wrong? You're not in trouble, are you?"
Yes. Yes, I am. Cursed and damned and doubly so from now on. Or was it from two years ago until now? He wanted to ask why and how and why again. He wanted to tell her that he would miss her and that he wished her well and that he loved her and that he was tainted always.
He shook his head. "'M fine," he whispered. "Just tired and..." From somewhere, he pulled together his dignity and courage and pride and inclined his head towards her hand. "It's Ravenclaw colors." He didn't know how he did it but his voice stayed even, his usual dry and soft and careful tones.
Her face lit up as she lifted her hand for him to better see the ring and he died. "I know. I can't believe he remembered. It was so darling of him."
Smiling, she looked at her splayed hand, tilting to let the sapphire catch the light, flinging drops of colored light, the same blue as her eyes. He thought he'd go blind from it. "We'll do well, I think," she murmured, sure and sweetly firm.
"Yes, Juniper. You will." No more, please, no more. Suddenly, it was all too much and too real and he felt something worse than the wolf gnaw at his heart. Closing his books, he stood and ducked his head. Making his excuses. He had other things to do, so sorry, until later. She cocked her head, those red-gold curls, shorter now, slipping over her shoulders. She gave him a puzzled, worried look and opened her mouth to speak.
That was more than enough. He left in a spin of robes, gone before she could get the words out. Sometimes, he knew, words held no power. Only looks.
He saw the shine of the ring and the brighter still shine in her eyes when she spoke.
He believed now.