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HP: How Do You Turn Your Eyes?


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Hi there,

This is in response to a request for a Remus/Tonks pairing. My apologies for the length of the post, and the fact that the pairing is a secondary plot. I will try to write another with them being the primary focus soon - when school is less schooly. I hope you enjoy this, for what it's worth.

Unicornpearlz

***********

Title: How Do You Turn Your Eyes

Author: Unicornpearlz/Niki

Fandom: Harry Potter

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Read the OotP, GoF, HBP.

Summary: This takes place about 10 years after Harry, Ron and

Hermione leave Hogwarts. Zia (an original character) and Severus have been dating for about 3 years, and decide to throw a party. They invite people from Hogwarts and the

now defunct Order. Other pairings include: Cho/Harry, Ron/Hermione, Tonks/Remus

Disclaimer: I don’t get paid for this. The world belongs to JKR, as do most of the characters. Zia however is mine. The idea of a soul healer belongs to superimmunegirl, and is used in her fic 17 words. The Muppets belong to Jim/Brian Henson.

How Do You Turn Your Eyes?

By Unicornpearlz

“Hon? Are you about ready to go?” Tonks called across the small flat.

“Kisshoo! Yea.” Remus sniffed. He was getting over a bad head cold, but when Zia, the newest teacher at Hogwarts had invited them to a small shin dig at her place, he couldn’t refuse. She had worked very closely with the order during and then after the downfall of Voldemort, and she floundered for a bit when her services were no longer needed. McGonagall refused to let her flounder and get lost – so she hired her on as the drama teacher… like Hogwarts needed any more drama.

“Hon?” Tonks was standing at the doorway. How long had she been standing there? “Are you sure you want to go? You still look dazed.”

“Yea, I’m fine. (sniff) Just finishing up the touches,” he added as he sprayed himself with the only cologne that didn’t aggravate his sinuses.

**********

“Ron we have to go!” Hermione said, impatiently.

“I don’t see why. From what I recall, I never really liked Snape.”

“Ronald, he did a good deal of good things for the Order, and even more after we left Hogwarts. What does he have to do to prove that he’s not a bad guy to you?”

Ron looked at her incredulously. “I’ll stop believing it, when he stops being a slimy git.”

Hermione folded her arms.

“Hermie – he broke up with YOU. Aren’t you supposed to hate him or something? Why do you even want to go to this stupid party?”

“He broke up with me because, he was right, the age difference was just too great. I wasn’t as mature as I thought I was – and I prattled on about things that he didn’t need to hear about. That doesn’t make him less of a man. He was just being honest. And I don’t want to go because of him anyway. Zia’s new at Hogwarts, and from what I hear from Harry, she’s having a bit of a difficult time making friends. Her dating Severus hasn’t helped things, I’m sure, but she’s a nice person and doesn’t deserve to be treated like some squib.”

Ron sighed. Sure Severus and Zia had done a lot for the Order. And, according to the rumors from the kids in Wheezes Severus wasn’t such a hard git anymore, but he’d still tortured them throughout Hogwarts. Hermione worst of all. He can still remember her tears and hurt from his words. Why she dated him in college, Ron never did understand. And why she still defended him, even now – 6 years later, he would never even try to understand.

“Fine, then I’ll just have to go without you.”

Over his dead – “No, that’s alright. I’ll go. Let me just put on a clean sweater.”

*************

Severus was staring intently in the mirror, nervous about the night. In the past 3 years, Zia and he had gone to many gala’s, but that was somewhere else, where they could pretend to be someone else. Where they would hobnob with the wizarding world’s snootiest, and if they were lucky, take one home. But, they’d never had a party at their place before, at least not one with his former students at it. And, much less, his former lover.

Hermione was in her 2nd year of college when they became reacquainted with each other. He tried hard to keep up the front of being angry and bitter, but the truth was, after the war ended, he was skeptical, wary, and untrusting. But, he was no longer angry…or bitter. She told him she was in her 2nd year, studying to work in the ministry of magic. Apparently, the job she wanted needed a higher degree than Hogwarts, so she furthered her education. The two of them got to talking, and continued to do so over coffee, then over dinners, and suddenly they were dating. It didn’t last long though.

Severus had continued teaching at Hogwarts. Hermione was going through the excelled program and her college. She had a one track mind, so did he. They didn’t have enough conversation to support a relationship. So, he broke it off with her. He hated making her cry – this time. It was his favorite pastime when she was a student of his, but no longer. He broke her heart, but it had to be done. He’d seen her a few times since, and they’d been friendly, but it was awkward. And, though she’d met Zia, she had never seen the two of them together. He was nervous about how this night would turn out.

“You okay?” Zia said, coming into the bathroom. She started brushing her hair. “Up or down tonight?”

He turned to her and smiled. “Up. I love it when you put it up.”

She flashed him a grin. He was a far cry from the arrogant, cruel, git that everyone thought he was. But he could be that way. To her, to his students, to his fellow teachers, but mostly to himself. She came to the realization, in their first year of dating that he used the cruelty to cover up his own insecurities. But, the more comfortable he felt in a situation, with the people around him, and/or with himself, the nicer he became. It was an odd phenomenon, and she was pleased to have watched it transpire. “French twist it is.”

He sighed, inwardly. He loved the way she just knew what he liked. But, his thoughts kept drifting back to the party. She noticed.

“Still nervous?”

“Yes.”

“What are you more nervous about? The teachers coming or Hermione?”

His stomach flipped.

Zia watching the color drain from his face. “Do you want to call it off?”

He shook his head. “Just stay near me tonight, okay?”

She smiled again. “Of course,” she said as she slipped the last clip into her blue-black hair.

‘Perfect,’ he thought.

***

2

Zia answered the door, barely 15 seconds after it rang. She had been doing some of the finishing touches in the room – placing out the food, calming down Severus, etc. She knew that doing something this outgoing and friendly wasn’t his style at all. But it was hers, and she figured it would take multiple parties to get him comfortable. But, she could see him being a very gracious host, if he ever calmed down enough to enjoy himself.

“Remus!” Her face lit right up, as soon as she saw him. He was the kinder, gentler type of person. The kind she had been before the dark times, and then before the darker times. She envied Tonks on some levels, but she knew that neither Remus nor she would be happy with each other, at least not long term.

He smiled and made way for Tonks to enter.

“Hi, sweetie!” she said, as she hugged Tonks, and took her coat.

“Kisshoo!” Remus sneezed, quietly.

Zia’s eyes focused on him. “Oh no, Remus. I swear we kenneled Crispy and then cleaned this place from top to bottom –both with and without magic.” Zia was painfully aware of Remus’ allergy. After all, Tonks brought Remus Crispy as a Christmas gift the year before, and his allergy is how Severus and Zia wound up with the cat.

“No no, nothing like that,” he said, as he took off his cloak. “Just getting over a cold is all.”

“Hello, Remus,” Severus said as he walked, stiffly into the room. His voice was cold and harsh. Zia shot him daggers and softened her eyes, beckoning him to do the same.

He took a deep breath and came over to hug Tonks. “You look ravishing as always, my dear,” he said, as he kissed her hand. Tonks and Remus both gave him a look of sheer surprise. Zia smiled. That was closer to the Severus she knew. And, it was the first sign of *trying* that he’d shown her all evening.

“Thank you!” Tonks beamed, as she laughed and tilted her head back. Her pink spiked hair had been purple tipped for the occasion, and she felt vibrant.

“Come on in,” Zia said, taking their coats into the bedroom.

Tonks sat on the couch, and Remus reclined in the easy chair. “I’m so glad you kept this, when you two moved in together,” he said as she came from the bedroom.

Zia chuckled. “Don’t get too comfortable. You’re not the only one who likes that chair.”

Remus looked at Severus, who was trying not to look perturbed that his seat had just been taken.

“Oh!” he said, moving to get up.

“No, no stay. I have to get something from the kitchen anyway,” Severus said, through gritted teeth.

“I’m sorry, Severus. I really can move; it’s no problem.”

“Stay, Remus,” Zia interjected. “He gets that chair all the time. It’ll do him good to remember what the couch is like.” She slipped into the kitchen. “You okay?” she whispered.

“Yea. Just trying to be pleasant. Not my strong suit.” His heart was going at double time. But, he promised he’d be nice.

“I know. Just stick near me. It’s not like you’re running Alice’s tea party by yourself.” She patted his arm.

“Tonks would make a good hatter,” Severus said quietly.

“And Remus, a door mouse. Come my march hare,” she teased, as she brought the cheese platter into the living room.

“So, how’s work?” Remus asked.

“Okay. We’re doing ‘A Muppet Christmas Carol” right now. We have a set of twins that are such a hoot. And the kids – well with the right motivation – are very motivated.”

“The songs?” Tonks asked, “or the whole production.”

“The whole production. Jim Henson was one of the most talented wizards to succeed in the muggle world. Since Brian went to Hogwarts as well, he was willing to allow us to put it on – just so long as he got a personal invitation to opening night. I, myself, am very excited.” Zia talked with great enthusiasm and zest.

Remus smiled. “And what kind of motivation do you use?” He turned his head quickly, “Kisshoo!” He pulled his handkerchief out of his pocket and blew his nose quietly. “Excuse me.”

“Not a problem. I have some of your allergy meds still, would you like them?” Zia offered.

Remus looked at her puzzled. “I don’t understand.”

“When we were working closely together, you gave me some vials of potions for your allergies. I kept them even after our business together was completed, in case the need ever arose. Would you like to take a look at them?”

“You still have them? Do you still have the green one?”

“Yes.”

Remus’ face lit up. “Please,” he said as he rose. Zia lead him back to the powder room vanity and showed him the vials. He chose one that would help suppress his symptoms, at least for the next 7 or 8 hours. He sneezed violently for a few seconds, while Zia held him steady. “Kisshoo! Hisshoo! Isshoo! Shoo! Shoo! Kiss-Shoo! Itccchhh!” He blew his nose wetly, and felt safe as she held on to him. When the dizziness subsided he took a step back. He sniffed freely. “Thank you. That’s much better. I can’t believe you kept those.”

“Yea, I do that,” she replied quietly as they went back into the living room.

“Hey!” Remus exclaimed.

“Seating upgrade,” Severus stated from the reclined armchair.

Zia laughed and let him have it. Scolding was not necessary right now, as everybody was having a good laugh – even Severus.

The doorbell rang just then anyway, and Zia went to answer it.

“Hermione! Ron! I’m so glad the two of you could make it!” she said, cheerfully as they came in.

“Sorry we’re late, we had a few … chores…to attend to,” Hermione explained as she glanced about the room.

“Not a problem. Grab a seat. I’ll go put your coats in the bedroom.”

She heard the greetings and hoped that Severus would continue to be okay. He told her all about he and Hermione, and she knew that this would be a difficult party for him. But, he had insisted that he wanted a friendship with Hermione, and she knew this was the best way to help move that along.

When she walked back into the living room, Severus had moved the recliner into the un-reclined position. Hermione was chatting it up with Remus, and Ron looked positively miserable.

“Can I get anyone a drink?” she asked the room. As everybody called out what they wanted, Ron got up to help her.

“How’ve you been Ron?”

“Okay, I guess.”

“Anything the matter?” she asked, handing him a butterbeer and knowing full well what the problem was.

“Just feels weird. I don’t think she’s over him,” he said quietly.

Zia looked into the living room. Hermione was purposefully ignoring Severus, but casting sideways glances at him whenever she thought he wasn’t looking. He noticed, but he wasn’t sure how to act. It had been several years since they had to interact on any level that didn’t require a sense of duty. She could tell from the look in Hermione’s eye that she wasn’t over him at all. No wonder he was so uncomfortable. They went back into the living room and handed out the drinks.

The doorbell rang again. “Harry! How are you?” Zia asked, letting him in.

“All right. And you?” he asked handing her his cloak.

“Not bad. Come on in. Sit down. Get a drink. Have food. You know the drill. No need to stand on ceremony here.” In the past 2 years or so, she and Harry had become quite good friends. Harry had also taken the time to get to know Severus, so the two of them were friendly at least. She breathed a sigh of relief. At least now he’s got someone else to talk to,’ she thought, as she sat on the arm of the recliner, and leaned into Severus’ touch.

***

3

Remus heaved and coughed heavily as he felt the ice cube lodge even more firmly in his throat. He knew he was making quite the spectacle of himself, but he didn’t care. He felt Tonks smacking his back, but it wasn’t helping.

“Tonks, stop that,” he heard somebody say. Did he know that voice? “Hermione move.” He felt a gentle touch on his shoulder, and immediately he began to feel at ease. “Remus, look at me,” the voice commanded. He tried to, but the coughing made him keep closing his eyes, and the pains in his chest kept him hunched over. “Remus, just once, make eye contact with me.” Zia? He looked up and into the deep pools of her eyes. Once he had her gaze, he couldn’t break it. He felt a warm soothing feeling cascade throughout his entire body. He felt himself fall in time with her breathing, and the ice cube dislodge itself and slide effortlessly down his throat. He sighed heavily and leaned back into Tonk’s arms.

“Thank you,” he said in disbelief.

The room had fallen eerily quiet.

“I didn’t know you were a –,” Hermione started, but Zia raised her hand and quieted her.

“You can all tell what I am. No need to say it.”

“I’ll go get your water,” Severus said, as he got up and went into the kitchen.

“Thank you.” Zia smiled at the room, as the room continued to stare at her in awe.

“Why didn’t you tell anybody? Why don’t you do this for a living now?” Remus asked.

“With the kind of behind the lines work I did? Are you insane?”

Remus gave her a blank, hurt look.

“I’m sorry Rem. It’s just a bad idea.”

Severus handed her a glass of water and Strawberry Root. She sipped it, gingerly.

Severus nudged her. “So, tell them how you made the kids sing the Scrooge song with conviction.”

Zia almost spit out her drink. “Are you sure?”

He smiled, and Hermione’s stomach twisted. He’d never smiled like that for her. Nor could she recall a time when he was so protective of anybody but himself. She crossed her arms in front of herself.

“Yea, it’s a good one,” he said.

Zia smiled. “Okay, so you know how I told you that we’re doing A Muppet Christmas Carol? Well, the kids weren’t getting how much they were supposed to hate Scrooge. So I told them to replace ‘Scrooge’ with ‘Snape.’”

The room gasped and started to chuckle. “You did not,” Ron said, barely containing his laughter.

“I did. And they did it perfectly.”

“That’s not a surprise. No offense,” Harry said, looking directly at Severus.

“None taken. Tell the rest of the story.”

“The next day, they were doing it, and Severus here walks in. I figured they’d notice. He has a bit of a presence about him when he walks into a room.”

Remus chuckled a bit louder, and Tonks’ shoulders began to shake.

“So, they get to the end of the opening lines and they all shout out ‘and the worst of the worst, the most hated and cursed is the one that we call Snape. Unkind as any and the wrath of many, this is Ebenezer Snape!’ At which point, they realize that he’s standing *right there*.”

The room fell out laughing. Even Severus was chuckling. Everyone except Hermione.

“How pale did they turn when they saw him there?” Tonks asked through her laughter.

“Very, but it gets better. They decide to continue the song. They got all the way through, singing the wrong lyrics, right to his face.” By this time, Zia had started giggling as well.

“How could you do that? Teach them that?” Hermione hissed, at Zia.

Zia raised an eyebrow. “He said he didn’t mind.”

“How could you believe that? You, a trained soul healer. You, his girlfriend. You should know how proud he is. How could you embarrass him like that?”

The laughter quieted in an instant.

“Don’t you worry, Hermione,” Zia said flatly, “he and I discussed it at great length. I would never do anything to hurt him or his pride.” She gave Severus a leery glance, but he nodded. She smiled.

“You just don’t get it,” Hermione said, quietly.

“No, I do,” Zia responded. She had known Hermione had not gotten over Severus yet. She just didn’t realize how deep the feelings still ran.

She looked around the room. “Okay, who’s ready for dinner?” she asked, as she got up to set the table.

***

4

As they sat eating, mainly in silence, Zia kept looking at Hermione – who was looking longingly at Severus. Ron, spent most of the time eating….and looking at Hermione – hurt. Severus had broken her heart into shards and she still pined for him. Ron did everything he could to make her happy, but there were times he didn’t feel like he compared. He wanted to blame Severus, but he knew it wasn’t his fault. Severus had moved on. He looked at Zia. And what a beautiful prize he had found. ‘Why do all the slimy gits get the girls?’ he wondered.

About halfway through the obnoxiously quiet meal, the doorbell rang.

“Well nobody RSVP’ed, so we’ll see who it is,” Zia muttered.

Remus got to the door first. “Harry! What a pleasant surprise!”

“Hi, sorry I’m –Kesshoo!- late.”

“Bless you. Harry are you feeling alright? You look a little flushed.”

“Just a cold Remus.” Harry sniffed quietly. “But, thank you. Kasshoo!”

“Bless you.”

“Harry, come get yourself a plate. There’s plenty here,” Zia called out, not getting up.

‘How rude,’ Hermione thought. ‘The least she could do is great him properly.’

***

“Hessshoo!” Harry sneezed for the umpteenth time.

Blesses were bestowed upon him by the room. Ron, Remus and Severus had grouped around him for auror stories, but he was starting to run out. Severus had given him a handkerchief earlier, but it was already sodden. Remus’ cold seemed to be open to the power of suggestion, since the more Harry sneezed, the more he did as well.

Tonks and Hermione were talking fashion, or lack thereof. Tonks was trying to get Hermione to lighten up and have some fun with her looks, while Hermione was trying to convince Tonks of the benefits of dressing more conservatively. Neither were making any headway. But, there was a lot of talking and laughter. Zia was in the kitchen making tea for Harry and Remus, and she was pleased. Her house was full of laughter and Severus was part of it. And, best yet, nobody had asked her to heal them yet. For once, her past seemed to be able to stay there.

The spearmint and peppermint blend for Harry was finished, and she put a warming spell on it to keep it at a comfortable temperature while she fixed up Remus’ tea. She had put orange peel and black licorice in it as well. Since he was coming down with a head cold, the mints would help keep his congestion at bay, while the orange peel would help boost his immune system and sooth his coughs. The licorice would help him relax, and it happened to be his favorite flavor.

“Hssxt!” Remus bit back a sneeze. Tonks leaned over and rubbed his knee.

“Let it out hon,” she whispered, gently tapping the end of his pinked nose.

He looked at her and flushed in embarrassment before catching its successor. “Hesshoo!” he sneezed into his handkerchief, and blew his nose lightly. He felt fine. He just wished his nose would behave.

“Bless,” Severus said gently. ‘Such a strong man,’ Severus thought, ‘it’s difficult to see him in such a weakened state. I wonder how Zia does it.’ He remembered to times past, behind enemy lines, where Zia would take care of him when he was sick and delirious from fever. She always handled illness with the utmost dignity and respect. If it ever bothered her, she didn’t let it show. She didn’t show pity. He wondered how she stayed together when everything around her was falling apart.

“Hesshoo! Shoo! Shoo! SHOO!” Harry sneezed. Severus reached into a side compartment of the end table and pulled out a fresh handkerchief. He handed it to Harry without a word, and Harry smiled his thanks.

The Severus he now knew was a far cry from the evil monster that he portrayed himself as, at Hogwarts. He still heard rumors of Severus torturing the 1st years, but the rumor was that he was getting tired of fighting kids and was becoming nicer, in his old age. But, Harry knew better. Severus, the man, had not changed, but his life had. Zia offered him a stable secure relationship and was his perfect counter balance. She understood what made him tick and she loved him for it. She embraced his dark side and tried to draw his grey areas out more. And, to the surprise of everyone watching, he was responsive.

“Here you go,” Zia said, handing Harry his tea.

“Thank you <sniff>. I appreciate it <sniff>.”

“It’s nothing.” Turning to Remus she added, “Yours will be out in a bit.”

“Doe,” he sniffed. “I don’t want to be a bother <sniff>. Hesshoo!”

Tonks looked over. “Rem, you okay?”

He turned to her, gave her a half hearted grin and placed his hand on his heart. She frowned.

“Remus, it’s no trouble,” Zia said, returning to the kitchen. Caring for people was 1st nature to her. Remus, even with the special blends, was easy, since they’d worked together – and lived together – working for the Order for so long.

“I’ll help,” Tonks said, still trying to convince Hermione to dye her hair fire engine red. “What are you making for him?”

“A cinnamon ginger mix. It’ll warm him and relax him. That should help him feel better.

Tonks nodded. “Actually, what he really needs is for you to explain why you don’t do soul healing professionally.”

Zia’s heart sank. “What do you mean?” she asked nonchalantly.

“Well, you’re correct that he needs to relax in order for his sneezing to stop. But he’s anxious because you snapped at him before. Very few people understand everything you did for the Order, myself included. But, you worked hard and we saw you at your strongest – both as a witch and a healer. You don’t need to tell me, but Remus needs to know why you can’t be a soul healer.” With that, Tonks went back to Hermione and started playing with her hair.

Zia finished steeping the tea and brought it into Remus. He thanked her warmly, but she hardly smiled.

Remus’ eyes jumped from her to Tonks and back to her.

“Later,” she whispered and walked to the other side of the room and began to fuss with things. ‘How am I to explain this, so he’ll understand, without breaking confidences – AND maintaining the friendship?’ she fretted.

Remus gave Tonks a scathing look, but she didn’t notice. He took a sip of his tea. ‘Perfect, as always,’ he thought.

Ron and Harry were talking about their antics in school. Severus was laughing so hard his eyes were tearing. He tossed his hair out of his eyes, when he saw her. His eyes narrowed. She never fussed with things. He strode to her side and put an arm around her waist.

“I’m fine,” she said, before he could ask.

“Liar,” he whispered. “We’ll talk later.”

She looked into his eyes and saw concern.

He looked into her eyes and saw fear. Something he’d only seen once, when he offered her up to the Dark Lord as a spy.

She sent him the vision of the conversation she and Tonks had.

“I understand,” he said, plainly. He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and sat back down. He wished Tonks had left her alone, but it was a small offence and he knew Zia would deal with it appropriately. He looked at Harry, who had paled considerably in the last few moments. A look of concern swept over his face, one that he shared with Ron and Remus, judging by the looks on their faces.

Hermione’s stomach twisted. She saw the two of them gaze into each others eyes. There was a bond between the two of them that she and he never had. ‘I want to go home,’ she thought.

“Mate, are you okay” Ron asked, gingerly touching Harry’s arm.

“Feel very tired all of the sudden.” Suddenly, Harry sneezed very wetly, “Issshtchoo! Hisstchoo! Ichtchoo! Isshh!”

Severus looked at Zia to see how distracted she was, but she had already noticed the change in Harry’s sneezes and was on her way over. She knelt down next to him. “What’s wrong, Harry?” She knew the answer already. She could smell the fever and see the fatigue.

“Just tired.”

“Do you need to say here tonight?” she offered.

“No,” he replied, wearily, “Cho is waiting for me at home.”

She nodded. “I’ll take you home. Then I’m writing to Moody and telling him you’re off duty for the next few days.”

Harry nodded and rubbed his nose harshly.

Ron helped him stand. His balance was off, but he was able to walk without too much difficulty.

Zia started to move towards the fireplace.

“We’ll take him home,” Hermione piped up.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, but thank you for everything. It was lovely.”

Everybody said their goodbyes and the three of them disappeared in a flash of green flame.

“Well, I guess I should be going too,” Tonks said, getting up.

“But, we’re still – ,” Remus began.

“No no you stay. You 3 enjoy yourselves. I’m going to go to the club with Justin. Owl me if you’re not coming home. I’ll be in around four. Later y’all!” And with that the green flame engulfed her as well.

“Everything okay with you two?” Zia asked sitting next to Remus. Severus disinfected and then regained control of his arm chair.

“What? Oh, yea! Justin is a gay friend of hers from Hogwarts.”

“Gotcha.” Zia looked around – unease and unsure of what to do or say next.

Remus cleared his throat. “What did she say?”

“It’s not what she said, it’s how I have to deal with it.”

“Well, what did she say? I’ll help you deal with it.”

Zia took a deep breath.

“Do you trust him?” Severus asked.

“Only to not kill me.”

“That’s all you can ask. The rest is gravy. You know that.”

“I know.” Remus and she had an extensive past. Even more than he knew. He’d become her best friend more than once and she didn’t want to have to earn it the same way again. She didn’t want to lose everything once he understood who and what she was. Severus knew her whole story. He was one of 3 people who did. She wasn’t sure how comfortable she was adding a fourth.

“Zia, whatever it is, I won’t kill you,” Remus said. He tried not to laugh. He could tell that she was taking whatever this was very seriously. But, he couldn’t figure out what she thought was so bad that he would harm her.

“Do you trust me?” she blurted out.

“Of course!”

“Do you have any questions about me or about my past?”

“Well, I know you went to Hogwarts, but I don’t remember you. Were you in Slythein?”

“No, Ravenclaw.” Her stomach clenched as she felt her world crash down around her.

“I knew most of the Ravenclaws. I don’t remember you.”

“Zia…” Severus warned.

“It’s okay. You mustn’t tell anybody what I’m about to tell you, Remus. It will lead to my demise.”

“I’d never hurt you like that.”

“Well, we’ll see.” She swallowed and took a deep breath. “You knew me; we used to study together.”

“Hesshoo!” Remus sneezed into his shoulder.

“Bless.”

He sniffed and thought about it. “I don’t recall.”

“I know.”

He slowly pulled out his handkerchief again. “Kesshoo!” He sniffed wetly and blew his nose fully.

“Nerves? Or do you need more meds?”

“Nerves I think. I haven’t seen you this intense in … a long time.”

Zia nodded and Severus looked on with the utmost seriousness.

“You knew me as Jada Thistlewhite. I had striking red hair and green eyes and freckles. And you always seemed to love my accent.”

Remus’ eyes grew wide. “Jada? But – but I thought you were dead!”

“A lot of people…” She sighed. “When the Dark Lord starting putting a price on the heads of healers, I knew I had to end a life to continue a life. So, I changed. I went through the transformation and continued my training as a soul healer.”

“And then you worked with the order as a regular and soul healer – Zia Morgan.”

“That’s correct. But, what you asked is why I’m not a full time soul healer.”

“Yes.”

“Because I’m not sure I could handle the retraining.”

“I don’t understand. <sniff>”

“Do you recall those times I’d come off of a mission sick and shaking?”

“Of course. And, then you’d typically tend to me for a few days, and then sleep for a few more.”

“Right. Well, here’s what I was coming off of. I’d go behind enemy lines, find our spies, clear out their emotions – generally by forgiveness or forgetfulness – and then send them back into the field. If necessary I would tend to their illnesses – both mental and physical as well.”

Remus looked confused. “I – I don’t understand. I thought the job of a soul healer was to show people how to look for the answers within themselves.”

“It is. But, I went into people’s minds, and tore out the problems, and sent them back into the field.”

“So… you saw everything they did … and made it possible for them to live with themselves?” Remus didn’t know what to think. First, that Zia was his best friend – and supposedly deceased fiancé Jada, and now this. This information that he didn’t know whether to admire or despise her for.

“Yes.”

“And what about you? Who heals you?”

“Nobody heals a soul healer – there are too many secrets at stake.”

“So you suffer?”

“I compartmentalize it. But, I go too deep now. You’d have to experience it, for me to explain the differences.”

“Show me.”

“Remus, I –.”

“Show Me! I want to see what you do! I want to see if I think it was worth our life together!”

***

5

Zia had Remus sit on the living room floor, facing her, with Severus behind him.

“Don’t let me clear him. Just let me fix him,” she directed Severus.

Remus looked at her quizzically.

“I’m so used to going in and taking out and finishing the job that I don’t want to go too far. Now, ask me any questions you want. You need to trust me completely for this to work.”

“Was it worth it Jada?”

“Yes.”

“I would have married you after school, you know.”

“I know.”

“Do you still have the promise ring?”

“Yes. Do you want it back?”

“No.”

They sat there in silence as Zia prepped herself. “Now, look into my eyes.”

Remus did – those sharp ice blue eyes that used to be an intoxicating green. “Kisshoo!” Remus’ hand snapped to his face, barely catching the sneeze.

Zia had seen it coming and was able to put up her mental shields. “Bless.”

“I’m sorry,” Remus said, as he blew his nose softly.

“It’s okay. Things like that tend to happen as I probe deeper. It’s our body’s way of shutting me out.”

“Were you probing?”

“Just opening things up. I’m going to work on some of your guilt issues.”

A very nervous look crossed Remus’ face.

“Don’t worry,” She assured him, putting a hand on his arm. A wave of comfort cascaded through his body. “I don’t discuss it with anybody. In fact, I won’t even bring is up with you.”

Remus looked at Severus.

“She’s true to her word Remus,” he said as assuringly as he could muster.

Remus looked deeply into Zia’s eyes again. Her blue crystalline eyes blended into pools of ebony ink. He couldn’t break the gaze. Visions of his mother crying because of his condition; his father crossing him with shame; the doctors at St. Mungos; Dumbledore’s look of dejection when he left Hogwarts; Sirius falling behind the veil; Jada’s funeral; feeling the master turn into the monster; attacking Sirius; attacking the little boy in the park… And, for each instance, a wave of release and forgiveness. Suddenly, he felt the link break. He fell into Severus’ arms shaking violently. A swirl of emotions ravaged inside of him. He felt a blanket of comfort cover him and Zia soothing him softly.

When he opened his eyes, Severus was no where in the room.

“Let it go,” Zia commanded, gently. “Don’t pull it back inside. Let it go.”

“I don’t understand what I’m feeling.”

“It’s okay, just let yourself feel it all.”

Remus sobbed in her arms for the better part of an hour. When he finally regained his control, Severus came back in and handed him a cup of tea. “Thank you,” Remus whispered. He was still curled into Zia, though they’d moved onto the couch.

Suddenly, Remus’ body snapped forward, and Zia grabbed the tea. “Kisshoo!” He sniffed wetly. “Kisshoo! Shoo! Esshioo!!

“Bless,” Zia said gently, as she handed him a handkerchief.

He blew his nose and drifted off to sleep

***

6

“So, you see, Tonks, the difference between what Zia does and what a normal soul healer does is she goes in, makes you confront everything and basically rips the guilt out of you. A normal soul healer would unobtrusively go in and assist your mind to heal itself, giving you the power to release the guilt. Her skills were honed for the wars, but in the interim, she has nowhere to settle.”

“That’s sad,” Tonks said, snuggling into Remus. “Especially since the wars are over.”

“Don’t be foolish love. There will always be another and that’s when Zia will come out and play.”

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Great! I loved this when you posted it on the sneezefic group, and it's nice to see it all at once, instead of in parts. One thing, though. Is it just me, or did Harry arrive twice?

great fic, though,

silentdreamer789

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:lol: Nope, not just you - he arrived twice. I forgot to change that. Sorry.

Umm...

"Sorry, I forgot!" Harry said, suddenly, as he ran back outside. <jump scene> "Harry come on in..."

"Look, a nice bottle of wine," Harry said, and held up a nice bottle of Yellow Tail.

It's the best I could come up with in 13 seconds!

Anyway, glad you liked it.

Unicornpearlz

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