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His Pack of Four by Remus
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Disclaimer: If you recognize it....most likely it belongs to J.K. Rowling herself. I owe absolutely nothing. Also, the formating (POV Change) was inspired by the Kitty Norville books by Carrie Vaughn.
Special Thanks To: CambAngst who was awesome enough to Beta-Read this for me. Seriously, do yourself a favor and read Harry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood (M). You're seriously missing out if you haven't read it.
The walk from the castle to the Whomping Willow was excruciating with every step I got myself to take. All day I had had to pretend to my friends that I had a bad case of stomach flu in order to explain the shakes, the irritability at everything they said and the continuous ill look I had upon my face. I wasn’t sure if they believed me because of the constant looks they exchanged with one another but I could only hope. They had been my mates, real proper mates, since our first year but even I wouldn't know what their reactions would be if they ever figured out my horrible secret.
I shuddered under my robes, the October air was becoming chilly as the sun began to set for the day. Regardless of the weather and time, he knew what day of the month it was and wanted out already to run. My wolf wanted to break free from the cage I had created for him since the beginning of my nightmare. The sight of the Forbidden Forest made him want to hunt those weaker than him and feed on their flesh; the feeling was so severe that for a split second I thought I was going to shift. I was, however, able to stop it again by taking deep breaths.
The small part of me that remained human throughout the night forbade the wolf from ever going out. So in the end, wolf tended to bite at our legs and scratch with his claws until there was blood as a punishment for not letting him do what was natural. I tended to not remember much of the ordeal of the night. In a way, I was a mere passenger, mentally locking myself away from the beast while it was out. I could still keep track of him by sensing its feelings and what it was thinking but that’s all I was willing to do; hurting no one was my main priority. The morning after the full moon I wake up having vague memories of the night before, the beast’s memories. I could remember everything if I wanted to, but that would mean accepting the werewolf in me, to become one with him, and lose my humanity altogether.
“Mr. Lupin, are you alright?” Professor McGonagall asked. I could sense her heart beat increase and the light smell of sweat. She was nervous and afraid that I was going to shift here, in the middle of the grounds and go after the students. I couldn’t blame her, even I became afraid every once in a while that I would end up attacking everyone in the castle. At the thought of cornered prey, my wolf perked up, but I managed to shove him back into his cage and forced myself to look at McGonagall who was trying, in spite of her fears, to not show the anxiety in her face. Being a werewolf heightens our senses. I could hear better than any of my classmates, sense heart beats speed up or slow down, smell the tiniest hints of fragrances, even from afar, and adapt to darkness quicker. Which made sneaking around the castle at night with James, Sirius and Peter much easier. “Mr. Lupin?”
“Just the usual, Professor,” I forced a smile as I felt the strong tugging in my stomach. Night was quickly approaching; the full moon’s shine was almost visible making it harder for me to keep him at bay much longer.
Luckily, we got to the tree just in time. I had been so busy trying to think of things that I hated to keep the transformation from happening that I didn’t even notice Professor McGonagall immobilize the tree for me. I found out at a very young age that when I begin to think of the little things I hate the most, the shifting was prolonged for a small period of time. Ever since then, I’ve used that technique. It hurt when the change occurred due to the wolf’s anger but I didn’t care. The longer I kept it together the better.
‘Pudding, the bloody full moon, bad marks, Slytherins, the lot of them, broccoli, really bad marks, a T in Herbology O.W.L.-’’
“Huh…? Oh, I’m sorry, Professor.”
“Go on,” she instructed. Her lips were pursed but her eyes were full of anguish and pity for me. I wanted to be mad at her. I didn’t need her pity or anyone else’s but I felt that that was the wolf talking and not me. I sighed and remembered that she treated me the same as her other students despite knowing the monster I had within me. In fact, she treated me just like any other student in that after this full moon, I had to continue my week long detention for a prank I had been part of with my friends. “Either Professor Flitwick or I will be early tomorrow to pick you up. You’ll be taken to the infirmary afterwards. Don’t forget Mr. Lupin, tomorrow night you have to continue that detention for the mess you boys created in the common room.”
“Yes, Professor.” I nodded in agreement. ‘Same as everyone else.’
“Well go on now, the sun is setting.”
I stepped into the passageway, my eyesight immediately adjusting to the darkness. “Oh and Mr. Lupin?”
“Please do be careful.”
I smiled at her and nodded, “definitely will try.” I often wondered why Dumbledore and the rest of the staff put up with me. I was grateful nonetheless of the sacrifice they had made for me because if someone were to get wind that the Headmaster of Hogwarts had allowed a werewolf to attend Hogwarts, everyone in the staff would get sacked and I would be sent back home humiliated. That’s why I tried to get high marks in every lesson. It was a thank you to Dumbledore and everyone else for letting me have a chance at being normal and make Mum and Dad proud.
With one last feeble wave to the professor, I began to make my way towards the shack.
I trudged along the path in pure agony and my legs wobbled as they struggled to carry my weight. Shifting was never easy for me due to always putting up a fight instead of willingly letting go of my humanity. I was a monster, and I accepted that, yet I was desperate enough to cling to my human side as long as possible during every full moon. My heart was beating so hard against my chest that I thought it was going to explode within me. “I wonder if that’s the best option,” I muttered to no one. “Just die as the monster I am.” The stubborn part in me shook his head. “No, no it’s not...Mum and Dad, they would be devastated. Mum had a nervous breakdown when I was bitten...I can’t even imagine what would happen to her if I happen to die.”
After the long walk, I finally made it into the small, raggedy shack just outside the village and settled myself in my usual room. I had free reign of the place, but I felt it was better to keep him locked up in one room to avoid any temptations of going out and hurting anyone. So I locked the door with the Colloportus spell, grateful that the wolf had no thumbs, magic or access to my wand, which was now located in a box at the topmost level of one of the many bookshelves in the room. The box itself was affixed permanently with the Sticking Charm I’d learned from Sirius, I was too paranoid that wolf would somehow get to the box by smashing his weight on the bookshelf and use it to get out.
After doing the same old routine, I settled on the stiff four-poster bed and took a whiff, the place smelled of a combination of sweat, blood, piss and dust making my nose wrinkle with disgust. At the thought of blood, the monster inside me began to salivate once again.
“Shut it!” My voice was deeper, almost like a growl. In retaliation my wolf tugged my insides causing my body to double over with pain. My head hit the wooden floor hard but that pain was nothing compared to the pain of leg bones melting and reforming in a new shape. With trembling fingers, I unbuttoned my shirt, not wishing to rip my clothes to shreds with the transformation and have to greet Professor McGonagall or Flitwick in the nude as I did last time. In the end, I was on all fours, naked and hating every cell in my body when the change began. I watched with pure agony as my fingers became longer and melted into claws. I hugged myself, the claws digging into my sides, and began to rock back and forth attempting, as always, to keep the transformation from happening.
“I am a human being.” My voice was now a wolfish whimper, and hot tears rolled down my cheeks. I felt pathetic. “I am a human and I’m in charge here. Not you!” My monster barked inside my head as if he was laughing at me. He was much stronger now that the full moon was up. I let out a blood-curdling scream as my spine felt like it was breaking before rearranging itself. Tawny fur began to show all over my body. My breathing was coming shorter and raspier; my vision became blurry just as a whimper escaped my lips…
The Wolf lay on his stomach breathing hard. He had been doing that for many moons but never once it was easy. Slowly he got up shaking his coat before looking around the familiar surroundings. This was both his personal territory and his cage. He jumped to the mangled chair he had bitten last time and looked outside the window. Beyond the shack he could see the forest and yearned to run under the moonlight and sleep among the trees. Looking back inside his cage he growled with frustration. Without much pondering, Wolf lunged at the door with all of his great strength. But that wasn’t enough as the door didn’t even rattle with the impact. He tried again, injuring his left shoulder the second time but even then nothing changed. He was still trapped.
Whimpering as he limped, the wolf settled himself in his usual corner and began to chew on his legs. He was anxious, angry and exhausted at his imprisonment.
Close to midnight, when Wolf lay half asleep, his ears flickered when faint sounds were heard from downstairs. This was new to Wolf who spend most of his time in silence when he wasn’t barking or howling on his own. He got on all fours and approached the door. True enough, he could smell three different scents approaching him. They were familiar but nonetheless they were coming to invade his territory and he needed to defend it.
“Quiet you two, I hear something.” The first voice sounded sure of himself. Almost as if he were leading the group. Wolf could see shadows under the door approaching. He was afraid for he had no pack to help him against the invaders. He was alone but he needed to defend his place. He growled loudly hoping it would serve as a warning.
“Merlin’s beard, was that a bloody growl?” a second voice asked. Wolf could tell that he was afraid by the quiver of his voice. “Look, perhaps this was a bad idea. If Remus wanted us to know his-”
“Shut it, Peter,” a third voice commanded the second one. Wolf took note that the third voice also sounded dominant, leaving the second voice to be the runt of the pack. “How do you want to do this, James?”
“He’s definitely here, I can hear him.”
“You sure it’s him, James?”
“No, Peter, of course not. But we have to try, no? He’s our mate after all. Alright, so Sirius and I will go in first. Peter, you open the door and then come in after us.”
“Err...Peter, place an Engorgio spell on the door as well. Otherwise our dear James might get stuck while prancing in.” Wolf sensed the attack coming so he backed towards his corner, growling and ready to pounce when the intruders came. The air was tense. Even with the door closed he could feel their anxiety and hear their hearts speed up.
The scents, however, changed. He could now smell wilderness, fur and magic mixed in with the familiar scent. The door opened and in came the largest piece of food he had seen walk right into his territory. It was a large stag with a matching set of antlers on its head. To Wolf, the stag smelled both delicious and wrong. Something in him told him that a stag should not have the sweet and tangy smell of magic and old stone. Underneath the great stag was a large black canine. He too smelled conflicting as both fur and magic seemed to be mixed in his scent.
Wolf bared his fangs at the invaders, tail stiff between his legs.
The stag made a noise and backed away a little bit. The canine on the other hand held his ground. It seemed that he was the only one offering him a challenge for it never averted its gaze from Wolf. By instinct, he knew that only those who dared to look at him were literally challenging his ownership of the territory. He barked a couple of times and bared his teeth, saliva was oozing from his fangs. The dog took a couple of steps forward and that’s when wolf leaped at the creature not wishing to give it a chance to attack first. He could sense the dog’s fright, the anxiety and the beating of his heart increasing. He tried to bite the dog on the neck but the stag hit him with his antlers and sent him flying. Wolf hit the wall behind so hard that it almost knocked him out. His vision became blurry but he nonetheless attacked once again.
The stag met his attack head on, injuring his already hurt shoulder even more with an antler. Pain shot up his shoulder but Wolf didn’t give up, he was hungry and was going to kill the stag one way or another. He scratched the great beast on the face just when he felt something biting him on the tail. Somehow a rodent was teaming up with the stag and dog. With his great paw, Wolf knocked the rodent off his tail, sending him flying across the room before facing his opponents once again.
The dog lowered himself, his stomach touching the floor and whined. It was being submissive and accepting Wolf as its leader. The large stag was behind the dog, its muzzle dripping with blood. All Wolf had to do was leap over the dog and dig his fangs on the stag’s neck. He could almost taste its warm blood.
“No, stop, friends!” the old nagging voice yelled inside his brain. It tended to always stay away, hidden while Wolf was the dominant one but this time he was making its presence well known. He growled at the voice but didn’t attack the so called friends. Sensing his brief pause, the dog ran towards the door and yelp in excitement. For Wolf it felt like the dog was trying to draw him away from his territory. Yet the outside was definitely a temptation for him. They could have his tiny territory; he was going to get a much bigger one where the hunt and prey would be far better than in his cage.
Despite his injured shoulder, Wolf ran past the dog and down the stairs. He could smell the woods and the cold air already. Everything was so enticing that Wolf could not wait any longer to find an exit. He made one himself by jumping out a window.
He was scratched, glass was all over his coat but Wolf didn’t care, he continued to run towards the forest. The sensation of cool grass under his paws, the fresh air and openness made Wolf happy. Above him, the moon shone so brightly that Wolf took a deep breath in and howled happily.
He could hunt now, hunt for anything that would be easy prey and didn’t care what the voice inside his brain was screaming about.
He was going to go in for the kill tonight.
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