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As May turned into June the weather improved and therefore construction on Dillan's pub quickened. He picked July sixth as the opening day and I managed to get the day off from work. It was my first scheduled day off in years. In some stroke of luck, this also happened to be the day of a Puddlemere Chudley Cannons match, which would be broadcast over wirelesses in the pub. Dillan even picked a name for the pub. The Rusty Bludger.

Rose collected enough data during the May full moon that she only needed one more month's worth of data. As the June full moon grew closer I became even more anxious to get my hands on that data. The practical side of me knew that there was most likely no connection between what werewolves remembered during the full moon and whether the Wolfsbane potion worked for them, but it was worth a shot.

Baby Remus and Baby Henri continued to grow at an extraordinary rate. Victoire commented that they were nearly always hungry, which resulted in near constant diaper changes. Neither of them were sleeping through the night, but that wouldn't come until much later. On the day they turned one month old Matt and I babysat both twins and Sophie so that Victoire and Teddy could have their first night off since the twins' birth and both returned very giggly and relaxed. Matt and I thoroughly enjoyed babysitting and I offered to do it once a month so that the tired parents could have some time to themselves.

Dillan and I continued spending all of our free time together, which wasn't much. We spent every weekend I wasn't on call together and had dinner together nearly every night, even if I was working late. It got to the point where Dillan rarely went back to his house in Wales, except to grab fresh sets of robes.

June went fast and soon we were facing yet another full moon. Sophie spent the days leading up to it at Bill and Fleur's since I was working. I returned to my flat extremely late the day before the full moon, after checking on both Sophie and Matt, only to find Dillan sitting in my living room.

“Amy, there you are,” Dillan said as he set down a copy of the Prophet.

“Dillan.” I smiled. “I wasn't expecting you.”

“I know,” he said as he got up and kissed me briefly on the lips. “But I want to ask you on a rare Tuesday night date.”

“A date?” I raised my eyebrows. Dillan and I hadn't gone on an actual 'date' out in two months. Usually we just ate at my flat. “Tomorrow?”

“Yes.” Dillan grinned. “Tomorrow night, after you get out of work. Around nine.”

I chewed my lip. Tomorrow was the full moon. I never did anything the night of the full moon, unless I had to work. “Where are we going?”

“It's a surprise,” Dillan said. “What do you say?”

I couldn't exactly tell him I had to sit at home while my brother turned into a raging werewolf in my parents' basement. The only excuse I could think of was that I had to work the next day, but that wasn't a good excuse. Dillan had to work the next day, too.

“I guess,” I said.

“Good,” Dillan replied.

“Well, you're here, you might as well stay over.” I grinned mischievously.

Dillan returned my grin and I grabbed his hand and pulled him to the bedroom. A date during the full moon. This was going to be strange.

***


The following day I was truly regretting my decision to agree to Dillan's date. Matt awoke with a raging fever and I was two hours late to clinic duty because I had to make sure it went down before I left. Farina chewed me out for being late and then my afternoon appointments were all late. The afternoon ended with one of the brewing interns blowing up a cauldron of Pepper-Up potion in the basement. That stuff doesn't even explode easily. I snuck out at six and took Matt to my parents' house, but his fever was back and I could tell it was going to be an awful moon.

I set him up on the couch and joined Mum in the kitchen. There was still an hour until he had to go to the basement. Once he was there, I'd go back to St. Mungo's and brew until my date with Dillan. Merlin, what had I been thinking?

“Mum, I'm insane,” I said as she made tea. “Last night I told Dillan I'd go out with him tonight.”

“Tonight?” Mum asked. “You haven't done anything during a full moon in years.”

I groaned. “I know. It was stupid. I should be here-”

“No,” Mum interrupted. “You should go out. There is absolutely no reason you need to stay here-”

“But if something happens-”

“Then your father and I will have it covered. We got on during full moons perfectly fine when you were a child.”

“But it's a Tuesday,” I pointed out. “I have to work in the morning.”

“Amy, you're only thirty. You can go out on a weekday once in a while,” Mum said as she set a hot cup of tea in front of me.

“What if something happens?” I asked as I picked up the tea.

“Nothing's going to happen,” Mum assured me.

“He's ill. It's going to be a bad one.”

“And you'll be here when the moon sets. But for tonight, Amy, for two or three hours, you can forget that your little brother is a werewolf.”

I sighed. Mum was right. But the thing was, I really couldn't just forget he was a werewolf. I'd built my whole life around that fact and it wasn't something I could just 'forget.' I did find it both funny and odd that Mum was telling me this since she had never in her life forgotten that her son was a werewolf. Cinda's death really had changed her.

Mum rushed me out the door as soon as Matt was in the basement. I Apparated back to St. Mungo's and brewed for two hours. It was incredibly therapeutic and by the time I went back to my flat to change, I was feeling much more relaxed. Well, as relaxed as I can be during a full moon.

Dillan told me that morning to meet him at his house at nine. Beyond that, he didn't say a word about our date. My curiosity spiked as I changed into a blue sundress and Flooed to his house.

The house smelled amazing. Dillan was cooking something that smelled very much like chocolate, which instantly made me happy. When I entered the kitchen I saw that he cooked some sort of elaborate chicken dish with a side of the most colorful rice I'd ever seen. There was also a steaming pot of broccoli.

“No restaurant?” I asked.

“Nope,” Dillan replied. “We hadn't eaten here in a while. I wanted to surprise you.”

“You did.” I grinned.

“It's ready,” he said.

Dillan and I embraced before we sat down. Our kiss was long and probably would have led to something more if my stomach hadn't growled in the middle of it. Dillan laughed and gestured for me to take a seat at the table.

We spent an hour lingering over dinner, wine, and then dessert. It was the most pleasant meal I'd ever had during a full moon and surprisingly I was able to forget about it for a short while. I was glad that Mum convinced me not to cancel on him.

After we finished Dillan took my hand and led me upstairs. I thought we were going to finish what we started when we were kissing, but instead of taking me to his bedroom, he took me up to the attic. Dillan's attic looked like a normal attic, with boxes most likely filled with his grandmother's ceramic figurines and old, moth-eaten robes. There was dust everywhere. Dillan helped me over the boxes and then over to a window. He opened it and climbed out onto the roof, gesturing for me to follow. I did.

I'd never been on a roof before. The closest I'd came was the balcony in my house in Australia. But this, this was an actual roof. Dillan sat down on the shingles and gestured for me to do the same. I was slightly confused about this part of the evening until Dillan pointed at the sky.

“The stars are beautiful tonight,” he said.

“You brought me out here to stargaze?” I asked.

“I did.”

I reached over and kissed him on the lips, grinning as I pulled away. “I haven't had time to stargaze in months.”

“I know,” Dillan replied. “That's why we had to do this tonight. It's the only clear night this week.”

I nodded. This was quite possibly the sweetest thing Dillan had ever done for me. I mentioned on one of our first dates that I stargazed all the time when I was a kid and it was still one of my favorite things in the world. He remembered.

“Plus, the moon is full,” Dillan said. “It's huge tonight, too. It's beautiful.”

I swallowed. I used to think the moon was beautiful, too, but as I got older and realized what it really did to my brother, I started to hate it. Now that Dillan pointed it out, I started to think of Matt and how he was a wolf stuck in the basement at that very moment. I thought of Sophie and Jamie and Thomas and Liane's brother and all my other patients. But I couldn't tell Dillan any of this.

“You know,” I began, “the moon actually makes for the worst stargazing. It's too bright and you can't see the dimmer stars.”

Dillan laughed. “We'll just have to do this again when the moon isn't there.”

Yes, yes we would, I agreed. I wanted to stargaze with Dillan all the time, whenever the sky was clear. I inched closer and he put his arm around my shoulders. We sat there cuddling and watching the stars and moon for hours. I lost track of time. We both nodded off at one point.

I opened my eyes and saw that the moon was starting to sink in the sky. The stars had moved. I jostled Dillan and he woke up.

“I love you, Dillan Blayney,” I said quietly.

“I love you, Amy Eckerton,” Dillan replied.

I readjusted myself and cuddled up to Dillan again. The moon was going to set soon, but I still had a few minutes left. A few minutes to watch the stars with the man I loved.

***


My perfect night with Dillan was over too soon and I had to make an excuse to leave. Dillan didn't push me but instead told me he'd be by my place later for dinner. I hurried back to my parents' house and got there just in time to get Matt from the basement. Neither of my parents said a word about the fact that I was gone all night.

My prediction about the moon being a bad one was right. I assessed Matt's injuries and when I found out that he still had a fever, I took him to St. Mungo's. Once there I discovered that he had an infection along with his usual injuries and got him started on an IV of antibiotic potion. Luckily my other patients had fared better and none of them showed up needing to be hospitalized.

Matt was better two days later and I discharged him, making him promise not to go to work for another two days. He reluctantly agreed and I told him to come over for dinner with Dillan and I that evening.

Throughout the next week I was preoccupied with the results of the study. Rose told me that the data was ready to be analyzed but that it would take her a week or two to organize it in a way that we'd be able to interpret it. This drove me slightly mad since I wanted to get my hands on it as soon as possible.

“Monday,” Rose said after I asked her about it for what must've been the twentieth time. “It'll be ready Monday.”

“Monday,” I repeated. “Three more days. Okay.”

“I promise,” Rose said. “It's very interesting already.”

“Rose. You're killing me.”

“Fine, I'll shut up. I've got to go anyway. I'm meeting with Kate Young at her house.”

“Oh, good!” I said. “Let me know how that goes.”

“I will,” Rose replied.

I glanced at the clock. It was eight in the morning and I needed to get to Diagon Alley. It was the day of Dillan's pub opening and I promised I'd be there at nine, but had wanted to find Rose first.

Diagon Alley was quiet when I arrived, which wasn't surprising given the time of day. A few hurried witches walked by me as I strolled to Dillan's pub, two of them dragging bored looking children along. Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes appeared to be the busiest of all the shops and Victoire's uncle George was busy inside. I spent a moment laughing at the display of hollow text books in the window ('Read what you like in class, be it funny or crass!'), and then went continued next door, to Dillan's premises. There was sign sticking out of the storefront, made to look weathered even though it was brand new. It said 'The Rusty Bludger' and had an actual rusty Bludger hanging from it. The name was also painted on the window with a broomstick painted beneath it. Gabriella had painted it only a few days prior.

I entered the pub and saw that it was bustling with activity. I'd yet to meet any of Dillan's employees but knew he'd hired two kitchen helpers, two barmen, and a couple waiters and busboys. He didn't want many employees to begin with, but obviously could not run the place by himself.

I didn't see Dillan in the main area of the pub so I decided to give myself a tour and then find him. The place looked very different from the last time I'd been in, which was two weeks ago. New booths had been installed, all a rusty red color. The tables were oak and second hand, as were the chairs. All in all, the seating and tables looked like your average pub seating, but what made the place stand out were the decorations.

Gabriella, with her creativity and Weasley knowledge of Quidditch, had been the perfect person for Dillan to hire to help him decorate. Originally he was going to do it all himself but after a few failed attempts he took Victoire up on her suggestion of hiring Gabriella. I think Victoire was relieved as it gave her sister an excuse to hang around for a few more weeks after the twins had been born. In fact, Gabriella had stayed in England since Victoire's birthday, a full two months ago. It was a new record.

The Weasleys had plenty of Quidditch memorabilia that Gabriella convinced them to donate. Posters of teams from decades ago, some autographed by players, old broomsticks, Quaffles, Snitches, Bludgers, Beater bats, newspaper clippings, and the list went on. All of it was perfect to decorate the pub, and none of it cost Dillan a Knut.

The posters and newspaper clippings had all been hung up seemingly at random throughout the pub, but upon further inspection I noticed that they went in chronological order. The earliest artifacts were hung to the left of the door and they grew newer in clockwise around the walls. It was simple, but genius, and resulted in the posters and clippings being spread out and organized well.

Broomsticks also decorated the walls. The oldest model (a Comet 120), was mounted above the door, and newer models were scattered about the other walls. The Quaffles and Bludgers had been made into candle holders and were mounted on each wall as well. Snitches, each painted a new color, were mounted on top of all the taps behind the bar. It was all ingenious. However, my personal favorite, were the bar stools. They were oak to match the tables and chairs, but the tops were each made from a magically flattened Quaffle. They still very much resembled Quaffles and it was obvious that they'd each been used. All in all, it was the perfect pub atmosphere.

I continued wandering and found that the one adjoining room to the main pub area had been converted into a game room, with a pool table and a few dart boards. Quidditch memorabilia decorated the walls in there as well. The only other room I'd yet to see was the kitchen, which was where I figured I'd find Dillan.

Dillan was in fact in the kitchen, but only managed to give me a wave before he had to go back to getting everything ready. It was nearly ten and the place was scheduled to open at noon since the Chudley/Puddlemere match started at one.

I spent the rest of the morning talking with Gabriella as she added last minute details to the decorations. Dillan remained busy and I had a feeling I wouldn't get to really talk to him until the pub closed at midnight.

Dillan left the kitchen briefly just before noon and I wished him luck before taking a seat at the bar. One of the barmen, a tall, skinny bloke who barely looked out of Hogwarts, poured me the pub's new signature drink. It was called the Rusty Bludger and looked the color of rust. I took a sip and was pleasantly surprised that it tasted rather good.

“Vodka, grenadine, and a dab of honey,” the barman told me. “I'm going to experiment a bit more depending on how well it goes over. We've got drinks for each team, too. Today we're featuring the Chudley Cannon and the Puddlemere as well.”

“Well, seeing as it's barely noon, I think I'll just stick with one,” I told him. I was fairly certain the last time I drank this early was the day I met Dillan.

People began trickling in around twelve-thirty and by the time the match started at one there was a decent crowd in the pub. Most were older Hogwarts students and people around Matt's age, but there were a smattering of older wizards as well.

The match was broadcast through a wireless and speakers that had been set up throughout the room, so it was easy to hear over all the chatter. Gabriella joined me at the bar and we ordered a few sandwiches to eat while listening. I knew the food would be delicious since Dillan cooked for me all the time, but for Gabriella, it was something new.

“This is amazing,” she said after the first bite. “Seriously, amazing.”

I grinned. “Told you.”

“God, you're lucky. He can cook for you all the time. I need to find myself a man like that.”

“You mean you haven't already?” I joked. “Out of all the men you've found?”

“Shut up,” Gabriella replied, but she was grinning. “A few of them did cook, but not like this.”

The match was a short one, as far as Quidditch goes, lasting only an hour. Puddlemere won, to no one's surprise. But the crowd stuck around and I had a feeling more would arrive as soon as five o'clock hit. It was a Friday, after all.

A half hour after the match ended Matt walked in followed by John, Albus, and to my surprise, Amanda. Amanda was another one of Matt's friends and I hadn't seen her in ages. She worked as a Ministry ambassador and spent more time in other countries than in England. They grabbed a table just as a few Hogwarts blokes got up and waved Gabriella and I over.

“Amanda!” I exclaimed. “How long are you here for?”

“A few weeks,” Amanda replied. “I've got to be in New Zealand next, meeting with their Muggle minister as well as their magical minister.”

The Ministry employed very few ambassadors since not many were needed and even fewer of the ambassadors were employed to deal with both magical and non-magical governments. Amanda, being a Muggleborn, was in the perfect position to work with both types of government. It also helped that her uncle had been Prime Minister of Britain for a number of years when she was young. Politics was in her family.

“Well, you've almost got the whole gang together again,” I commented.

“Kaden and Rose are meeting us here after they get out of work,” Matt explained.

I nodded. “How was the match?”

“Brilliant.” John grinned. “All my plays worked and we won. Can't get much better than that.”

Matt groaned. “It was awful. The Snitch was right there under Addison's nose and he didn't get it!”

“That's what makes it so beautiful,” John said. “I'll get drinks. We need to celebrate!”

John headed to the bar and returned a few minutes later with a pitcher of beer and enough glasses for all of us. There was also an orange drink on the tray. John set it in front of Matt.

“Here. It's called the Chudley Cannon. Drown your sorrows.” John smirked.

“What is it?” Matt asked.

“Orange vodka, grapefruit juice, a squeeze of lemon, and a shot of firewhiskey,” John answered. “The Puddlemere one is made with UV blue. Didn't care to try that.”

Matt took a sip. “Citrusy. With the aftertaste of firewhiskey. Weird.”

I laughed as I took the glass of beer John poured for me. I watched the pub and listened to Matt and his friends chatter away as I drank my beer. It was truly wonderful to see the pub do so well on its first day.

I stayed at the pub well into the night. Kaden and Rose arrived around seven and were both tipsy shortly after that. John, Matt, and Albus were long gone, in terms of sobriety, and left to play darts while Rose and Amanda caught up. Kaden joined the boys as soon as he'd had a few beers. I lost track of them an hour or so later, but spent the rest of the night with a few of Victoire's other cousins.

Dillan returned to my flat after three in the morning, smelling like a pub. I woke up as he got into bed and despite my own inebriation, listened as he talked about the day.

“It went better than I expected,” he said. “We were busy all night. If business keeps up like this I'll need another barman and waiter for the weekends. But I shouldn't get ahead of myself.”

“I think you're amazing,” I said. “And your pub is amazing. And the food is amazing. And the drinks are amazing.”

Dillan laughed. “You've tried quite a few, haven't you?”

“I had a Rusty Bludger and a Chudley Cannon and beer. And then Matt's friend, John, made me try a Puddlemere. That one was kind of gross. I think your barman is going to change that one.”

“He's very enthusiastic,” Dillan said. “Fresh out of Hogwarts.”

“I thought he looked young,” I said. “Dillan, we are old.”

“We're not old.” Dillan chuckled.

“Yeah, we are. Look at us. We have real jobs. I'm a Healer and a pretty good one at that. And I am one of the only people who can brew Wolfsbane. And you have your own pub now. We are adults.”

Dillan burst out laughing again. “Yes, Amy, we are adults. And you need to get to sleep.”

“I do,” I agreed.

Dillan laughed again and snuggled closer to rub my back. I smiled and buried deep into my pillow. Soon I fell asleep, dreaming of pubs and potions and bizarre mixed drinks.


A/N: I'm very excited to announce that I've finished writing this! It's 40 chapters long. I'll be doing two updates a week until I get it all posted. Thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed!

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