A/N - This is the usual disclaimer. Don't own any of this, except the plot. That being said...
Christmas at the Burrow once a time of laughter and rowdy fun, was now quiet and dark. The elder Weasleys would travel to one of their children's homes now. Molly Weasley took no joy in decorating, no longer knitting jumpers, it was too painful to knit six instead of seven. Arthur Weasley wouldn't have to see the empty chair at his table where his beloved daughter would have sat, her smile bringing warmth to his now broken heart.
They had all thought the danger was over. Voldemort, the most evil wizard in centuries had been defeated. Harry Potter, who the Weasleys considered their 8th child, had survived. It had been a close thing, but he had recovered and it seemed that he would become a part of their family as he and Ginny had fallen in love. Death Eaters had been killed or captured. The wizarding world had returned to normal.
No one thought the Muggle world would present the danger. The opportunity came for Ginny to study the ancient ruins in the mountains of the Yucatan. She jumped at the chance. Her interest in ancient magic had developed as she, Hermione Granger, Ron, her brother, and Harry had found that ancient magic was the key to defeating the Dark Lord. She was preparing a book on the subject and had gone to other sites around the world for her research.
No one had suspected the storm would be that bad. The meteorologists, Muggle and Wizard alike hadn't foreseen how the storm would intensify as quickly as it had. Many called it the storm of the century. It slammed into the peninsula with ferocity. Whole villages had been destroyed, coastal ones by storm surge, mountain and valley villages by floods and mudslides.
The search for survivors had gone on for weeks. Thousands had perished. Many not found. The Weasley brothers and Harry had been among the searchers. They had helped to rescue many who were trapped. They had helped recover many more bodies. But they never saw a trace of their sister. Weeks passed, but finally they all had to face the reality, that their sister, Harry's love was lost, forever.
That first Christmas without Ginny had been a disaster. No one felt like celebrating. Presents were left unopened. Copious tears shed. Molly vowed never to celebrate the holiday in the Burrow ever again.
So Christmas became a traveling holiday. Eventually, everyone learned to smile again. Laughter once more was heard. It wasn't as joyful as it had once been.
The doorbell rang. Ron opened the door.
"Harry!" he greeted his best friend. "So you were able to make it after all."
"If you don't let me in, I really haven't arrived, have I?" Laughing, Ron stepped aside. Harry gave Ron a playful punch on the shoulder as he passed. "How's 'Mione?"
"She's just great," Ron said as he led Harry into the living room. Hermione was sitting on the sofa. She never looked lovelier, Harry thought. Pregnancy agreed with her.
"How are you, 'Mione?" he asked as he leaned down to kiss her cheek.
"Fine, Harry. I will be glad when all this is over, just a fortnight left. I see you were able to make it. Did Kingsley give you any trouble?" Harry sat in the chair across from Hermione. Ron plopped down beside her.
"None at all," Harry said. "And that's funny. You know how he is about time off. He actually gave me the next fortnight off." Ron's jaw dropped. Kingsley Shacklebolt never liked giving his staff one day off, let alone a fortnight. "I was too stunned to even ask why he had done that."
"Are you sure that was your boss? I mean, Fred or George could have been having you on." Harry chuckled.
"No, it was Shacklebolt all right."
"Have you heard from Remus, then?" Hermione asked.
"Just the letter requesting that I arrange to be here, tonight."
"Nothing more about where he is or what he's doing?" Hermione shifted to relieve the pressure on her back. Ron tensed next to her. "I'm okay, Ron."
"No, 'Mione. He still won't tell me where he is or what he's been doing. He's not in the tropics anymore. Hedwig was very pleased to share her cage with an owl instead of the rather large tropical birds she's had to put up with for a week."
Remus Lupin and Harry shared residence at Grimmauld Place since Harry had finished Hogwarts. After the defeat of Voldemort, Harry's godfather, Sirius Black, had his name cleared, his will had been probated and everything was left to Harry. Harry had offered his home to Remus. They had shared it ever since, each a link to the other's past, and a vital part of their individual recoveries.
A little over month ago, after Harry had arrived home from a particularly rough assignment, Remus had gone. He left a note saying only that he had been given an assignment and would keep in touch.
"Have your parents arrived yet, Ron?" Harry asked.
"They're just freshening up." The door behind Hermione opened as if on cue. Molly and Arthur emerged from the guest bedroom. Their trademark red hair had faded to white. Arthur was a bit more stooped with age than when Harry had last seen him. Molly, in an unguarded moment, showed the pain through her eyes that was ever present in her heart.
"Harry," Arthur said. "I see you were able to get away. Good to see you, son." He extended his hand. Harry got up and shook it, firmly, then offered Arthur his seat.
"It's good to see you, Mr. Weasley." He turned to Molly. "You're looking as lovely as ever, Mrs. Weasley." She gave Harry a quick hug, then sat down next to Hermione. They had drawn closer over the past few years, having bonded together in mutual grief.
"Well," said Ron, "I guess we're all here. Remus said he would be here around 7." They chatted amongst themselves for a few minutes. The clock on the mantle chimed. Conversation stopped. Harry stood by the window. It had been snowing for the last few minutes, a dry, blowing snow. It looked as if someone had been shaking powdered sugar across the landscape. The cottages of Ottery St. Catchpole were already taking on a frosted appearance.
Again the doorbell rang. Hermione tried to get up, but Ron was too quick for her.
"Stay there, sweeting, I'll get it." He crossed to the door. "Remus," he said as he opened the door.
"Hello, Ron. Is everyone here?"
"Yeah, come on in. Remus, who's this?"
"I'll explain everything in a minute."
Harry turned. Remus entered the room. The shoulders of his cloak bore the evidence of the snowfall. He wasn't alone. There was a woman with him. The hood of her cloak fell low over her face.
"Let me take your cloaks," Ron said, following closely behind.
"In a minute, Ron. Please sit down."
Ron shrugged then went to sit down. Remus turned to the hooded woman.
"Are you ready?" There was a pause. Then the figure nodded. Remus turned back to the group. "Happy Christmas." The figure stepped forward. She raised her hands and pushed back the hood. Gasps went up.
"Ginny," Harry whispered. She was there, alive! Her eyes moved from person to person. Arthur, Molly, Hermione, Ron and finally, Harry. As she gazed at each person, her breathing became more and more rapid. She turned to Remus.
"I shouldn't have come, Remus. I don't know any of these people." She slumped into Remus' arms.
Someone handed her a snifter of brandy. She took it, her hands shaking violently. Arthur had given her the easy chair. He now sat next to his wife, his arm around her shoulder, holding one of her hands.
"Sip it slowly," he said. She did. The liquid slid like fire down her throat. She coughed. Remus was on one knee by her side.
"Are you okay?" he asked gently. She shook her head. "Do you want to tell them? Or should I?"
"No, I think I should." They were all waiting expectantly. Ron stood behind the sofa, his hands upon his wife's shoulders. Hermione leaned forward as far as she could considering her present condition. Everyone gazed at her, expectation, confusion, relief; she couldn't tell what on their faces. Again, she scanned each of them, hoping for a spark of recognition in her mind. Nothing. Not even for the lone figure at the window, the only person who hadn't moved. The one, Remus had told her, was the most important in her life before. She took a deep breath to calm herself.
"My name is Jane Wilson. At least, I think it is. It's who I have been for the last four years." She put the brandy down on the table. She looked to Remus for support, and took his hand in hers. She looked back at the group seated on the sofa and began.
"They tell me the storm was terrible. The worst in a hundred years. I couldn't tell you if that were true or not. I have no memory of it. Actually my first memories are rather vague. I remember pain and heat. I had been severely injured and was quite ill. The village I was in was in a very remote place to start with. The storm had cut them off completely. It was weeks before they managed to contact anyone. By that time the major rescue efforts had been stopped.
"I was still in a bad way. They did their best for me, but I was in desperate need of medical attention. It took them quite a while, but eventually they got me to Mexico City and put me in contact with the British Consulate. My memory was gone. I had no passport, no identification. There were no records of any kind at all. It took time, but eventually they issued me a new passport and identification. I chose Jane Wilson from something I had read somewhere.
"I was brought back to England and placed in a convalescent hospital in Devonshire. My recovery was difficult, but I did learn to walk again. My body recovered but my memories hadn't returned. The doctors couldn't help. They found no physical reason for it. Weeks of psychological therapy followed, but nothing helped.
"I was a scholar, a student of ancient history. The town I was staying in had a private girl's school. It was arranged from me to teach there. I've been there ever since. There were times when I thought I had remembered something, anything, but the images made no sense. They came mostly in dreams. Green liquid light, a feeling of being buried alive, birdsong, mere flashes nothing I could grab on to. Then there were the blackouts. Nothing major, small incidences. I would be grading papers, thinking about a cup of tea, and then the kettle would be whistling, I never remembered putting it on. Small things like that. The doctors couldn't explain it. Perhaps it was a lasting result from my injuries. It was all so vague. I learned to live with it.
"About four weeks ago, Remus knocked on my door. He told me my name is Ginny Weasley. I have two wonderful parents and six brothers who miss me very much. Then he showed me some photographs. Photographs that moved. Photographs with me. He told me I'm a witch. I told him he was insane. I threw him out. He disappeared for a time. I searched for him, but couldn't find him. I had to know more. Those photos. It was me.
"I had to believe him. It explained so much. When he finally turned up, he told me about my life. It was difficult. There's so much I don't understand. He finally convinced me to come here.
"I have a fortnight off from my school. I would like to take this time to reacquaint myself with all of you. If you'll let me."
The group on the sofa sat in silence. Then suddenly they were all around her. Ron pulled her to her feet. Molly had her in a hug. Arthur fighting back tears had thrown his arms about them both. Let her? Of course, they would let her. Their Ginny was alive! She was home. Harry had stayed in the shadows by the window. Remus came over.
"Harry? Harry, are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Remus."
"You should be over there."
"No, let them have her for now."
"Yeah. She looks so tired, Remus. Is she really all right?"
"Yes, Harry." Remus smiled. "She's fine. It's just a shock, I suppose. She'll be fine. And she'll find her way back to you.
"Happy Christmas, Harry."
"Happy Christmas, Remus."
"You'll come back to the Burrow with us," Molly was saying. They were all seated again. They had been talking for about an hour now, questioning each other. Harry had joined them. "Ron, can you go ahead of us and get the house ready?" Ron nodded and was about to Apparate to the Burrow when Ginny interrupted.
"Please, if you don't mind, I think it would be better if I come tomorrow. I don't want to put you out."
"It's no trouble," Molly said.
"My things are still at the inn," Ginny said. "I think it would be best if I went back there. I can come to your home tomorrow."
"Of course," Hermione said before Molly could protest. "I'm sure this has been an ordeal. So much, so fast. This should be done in stages. You look very tired, Gin...I mean Jane. Oh dear, which would you prefer?" The question started her.
"Jane, for tonight, I suppose. Ginny isn't familiar to me, yet."
"Yes, well, it's getting rather late," Arthur interjected. "We better let her get back to the inn before the snow gets too bad. We'll see you in the morning then, my dear." Jane looked at the man who was supposed to be her father, gratefully.
Remus had walked Jane back to the inn. He told Harry not to wait up for him. She might want to talk and he felt he should be there for her. Harry had agreed. But Remus knew when he arrived home; they would be up till the wee hours talking.
"Do you want to talk, Jane?" he asked as they stood outside the door.
"No..." she said. "Yes...maybe I do...Oh I don't know." Remus grabbed her arm and opened the door.
"I think you need to talk. Come on." He led her into the room. He took their cloaks. Then he conjured tea for them both.
"Sorry," she murmured after she had jumped. "I still can't quite believe in all this magic." Remus smiled. Then he held the chair for her. Jane couldn't sit. There was too much on her mind. She walked to the window and stared at the snowy landscape. Remus came up behind her and put a hand on her shoulder. She leaned back into him. His arms came around her in comfort.
"Are you all right, Jane?"
"I will be. It's just so overwhelming. I'm glad you were with me. Thank you."
"It's the least I could do. I've rather thrown your life into turmoil."
"That's putting it mildly." She gave a dry little laugh.
"This will all work out. I promise you that."
"Will it? I'm not so sure." She leaned into him more. "I don't know if I'll get my memories back. Even if I do, things will never be the same."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm not Ginny Weasley anymore. I don't think I could ever be the person I was. I know the family will accept me. It's Mr. Potter."
"Harry? Harry will be fine. He's patient. He'll wait for you. You will find your way back to each other."
"No, we won't."
"Of course you will. Why wouldn't you?" She turned in his arms. She looked directly into his eyes.
"There's someone else." She placed her hand on Remus' face. She kissed him. He let her go and stepped back.
"No," he said. "I can't do this. Not to you and not to Harry."
"You didn't do anything, Remus," she stepped close to him. "It's me. It's my heart." She kissed him again with all the passion and longing she felt in her soul. Remus' mind was shouting for him to stop. He couldn't. His arms came around her. He had never let a woman get so close to him before. Not being what he was. No woman would have him. It would hurt too much to love someone and have her reject him when she found out.
But this, he couldn't stop. This was too wonderful. Her scent, apple blossoms in springtime, filled his senses. The softness of her body as she melted into him, drove rational thoughts from his mind. She was fuel to the fire burning in his veins.
"Stay with me, Remus. Stay the night."
A/N - I am a firm believer in H/G. This will eventually be a H/G story. It may not seem so now, but believe me, it is. I have to explain something. When I first found out David Thewlis was to play Remus Lupin in the next film, I was delighted. You see, he is whom I had pictured as the character from the moment I read Prisoner of Azkaban. It was then, that the germ of this story formed in my mind. I do not know if JKR will give Remus a happy ending. I sincerely hope so, because of all the minor characters, he is my favorite. Such a tragic, lovely figure. He deserves a happy ending. I decided to write one for myself. Now many of you H/G shippers may be a little angry with some of the turns this story takes. I hope you stick with it to the end, though. I am a sucker for happy endings and I did the best I could to bring this about. After all, this is a Christmas story and we all know Christmas stories should have happy endings.