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When the Moon No Longer Shines Book 1: Marauder Girls by EmmalenaGranger
Chapter 1: Chapter 1: The Girls; Quidditch and Parchment
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Author’s Note: I first wrote this story nearly 13 years ago, when I was a young, love-struck 13 year old girl, trying to find her writer’s voice. Since then a lot has changed, and my debut novel will be released soon, although I thought it would be nice to come back to my early beginnings. This is both a rewrite and a remake of my story Marauder Girls – with some characters from before, some from my life now. The characters from JK Rowling are still her property, those you don’t recognise are my own (and my friends in real life :p) That being said I would also like to clarify that the name Remeus is ‘my’ character in the sense that he is a life for Remus Lupin in my story that later become the Lupin of the Potterverse canon. If you want to read the original story you can find it on my page. For now…let’s re-begin.
It was not often that Hogwarts girls had a penchant for mischief. They were usually gentle and kindly young ladies, who kept to their books and their studies and on occasion shopping at Hogsmede for sweet treats and love letters. But there were of course exceptions and trouble begets trouble. Such was the case of a group of girls who were in their sixth year, a group of inventive and forward thinking girls, who had won the heart of a famous set of trouble makers. They were not to say antagonistic nor the most popular amongst the student-body, they worked hard and they partied hard; never far from the group of boys; who had chosen them for their closest peers. These were the Marauder Girls and this is their story.
It was 1976, a hot summer in England, and even the staff had taken it upon themselves to teach outside wherever possible, to alleviate the indivertibly deviating focus amongst their students, who had loosened their ties and collars as much as possible; and kept heading to the castle’s lake whenever they weren’t studying, with a mixture of brightly coloured swimming outfits, under their thick school robes.
All except the potions master, a certain Professor Slughorn, whose desire to drive his students towards their exams had maintained a desire for his pupils to remain in the dungeons under the school, reprimanding his questioning students with a short and blunt: “Proper brewing, requires a dark, and moderate temperature room, not your floating fans and suspended feathers.”
So it was to some relief that the Yule Ball was due to occur that year. It had not been a secret, not least in the Gryffindor common room where two of the girls were prefects, and had instantly revealed it to their friends and classmates; keen to make a head start on which gowns and dress robes would be chosen from the vast array of stores in the village, and back in London. It was no secret either that some dates had already been chosen, by long standing friendships and school romances, such as that of Lily Evans and James Potter; and Emmalena Ellis and Remeus Lupin.
Emmalena stood in front of the long mirror, which stood facing her bed; twirling slightly from left to right as she examined her reflection. She had a collection of dresses on the mahogany ottoman trunk behind her; unfolded lightly on her quilt in a mishmash of softly scented tissue paper. With her wand perched slightly behind one ear; she had levitated one dress over to her; pressing it against her uniform questioningly. This one was a beautiful cornflower blue dress, which perfectly matched her eyes; and was made in a richly spun velvet with a silk petticoat that gave it an elegant A-line shape; similar to the styles found in the 1950s, though with simple cap-sleeves and a heart shaped neckline. She had chosen to compliment it with silver shoes and a matching pashmina scarf; and a simple silver moon pendant that hung on a long chain from her neck even now; a gift from her beloved Remeus.
“Hmm,” she whispered to herself slightly, turning again to study the velvet bow neatly fastened at her back.
“I don’t know why you bother Emm you always look good.” Said a voice beside her, making her jump slightly; her wand clattering to the ground.
Beside her was one of her friends Ashli who had entered the room only a short while ago and had already begun playing with her hair, twisting it up into various styles and colours in a mixture of amusement and frustration.
“You startled her!” Cut in Lily as she too entered the dormitory, crossing past the former to get to her own bed. Emmalena smiled slightly, shaking her head as she picked up her wand; quickly recanting her charm to prevent her dress from creasing as she lay it back in its pastel pink box.
“It’s no trouble really,” she replied calmly, drifting the lid of the box over the gown, and fastening it with a silk white ribbon. “I was only day-dreaming - ”
“About Remeus…” chimed in Ashli, in a slightly singy songy voice, battering her eye-lids slightly in an affectionate and playful manner as she flopped onto Lilly’s bed; earning a slight jab in the ribs by Lilly who smiled supportively.
Emmalena’s cheeks reddened. “Yeah well you were just the same when you saw Sirius Black!” Continued Lilly, whose eyes were now focused on the book she had opened up to jot down a few notations from their class, ignoring the stuck out tongue of Ashli, who pouted for a moment then grinned. A slight glaze creeping into her eyes.
“Oh Ash…” Lilly replied, exasperatedly into her book, nudging their friend as she swayed over the textbook, in an almost dangerous manner.
“Best give up.” Emmalena said softly, though she was smiling too. “When she gets like this even if the Whomping Willow could flatten her off her broom she still wouldn’t notice.”
“But I want to study!” Lilly protested, quickly snatching her inkwell from the bed so that Ashli would not fall and drop it to the hardwood floor, or revive from her love-struck state with slightly inky fingers.
“Best go to the library.” Emmalena replied, looking through the gothic black window above her bed, which offered views of both the common room and the school’s eastern towers. “Looks like the Quidditch team will be back soon with their muddy boots and uniforms.” She stood up, bolting shut her trunk and gathering her neatly fastened satchel as she headed to the door.
“Sure,” Lilly replied, scrambling to the doorway after her. “And Ashli you can clean the guys jumpers.”
“Wait what?!” Said Ashli, sharply as she came round, just in time to catch the final words of Ms. Evans, as she left the room in a rush of flaming red hair; and a cackle of harmonious laughter.
So began another day.
Down in the common room, the two girls were met by Kayleigh Phillips, Emmalena’s best friend, and partner in crime. Whilst all the girls in the group were close, Emmalena and Kayleigh had known each other since their younger years, and were constantly found together sharing in their discoveries, charm pronunciations and mulling over unusual books in the school library.
Like Emmalena, Kayleigh had long brown hair, though she kept it shorter after they joined fourth year, and a warm, friendly disposition. “Where you guys off to?” She asked, rushing closer to them, leaping off one of their smart, wine red, wingback chairs by the fireplace to greet them.
“Just the library.” Emmalena said warmly, tilting her head as she heard the familiar voices of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, approaching singing in their usual, hyped up and testosterone filled chants about ‘Lion Spirit’. “Be nice to get some peace and quiet.”
“Not going to wait for Remeus?” asked Kay, admittedly a little surprised, “You usually go to the lakes together.”
“I know –“Emmalena began again, when Lilly answered.
“She just wants to help me out, James and I had a bit of a spat.” She said quietly, looking down and biting her bottom lip.
“Oh what about?” Kay, seemed curious, though she was not one to pry. “No, don’t worry, come on, let’s get going.”
Lilly nodded gratefully, and the three girls made their way to the Fat Lady’s familiar portrait, pressing slightly against the wall, to avoid the cluster of young men who had now arrived, cheering excitedly, and waving little flags here and there in their school colours of burgundy and gold; completely oblivious to the girls beside them.
“Men,” murmured Lilly despairingly, shaking her head. She was sometimes considered the eldest of the group, and was certainly going to make head-girl if their headmaster had his way. “I swear, they’re no better than muggles and football….”
“Football?” Emmalena asked with interest, as Kay stifled a giggle.
“Don’t worry…” Lilly said gently, “Sport is sport.”
“Oh,” Said Emmalena, for sport had always bored her, both in the wizarding world and muggle world alike. “Come on let’s go.”
The other two nodded, and so they made their way to the library, with a trunk of books and studying supplies, following in their wake.
“I’m bored!” moaned James Potter, clasping his hands behind his head as he rocked his chair back, looking towards the beautiful stained glass ceiling. “Come on let’s go swimming!”
Remeus Lupin did not answer for a moment, instead pressing his quill against the large wad of parchment in front of him, busy writing. “You know, this whole map was your idea Prongs.”
“Yeah, well…” James replied, scratching his head and looking to Sirius Black for encouragement. “Didn’t you say Padfoot it would be better if we got the girls to do the script in their fancy cursive handwriting?”
“Yeah-“ Sirius replied, as he looked over Remeus’ latest addition.
“And I thought it best, not to involve too many people.” Remeus replied sensibly, “Not ‘till we’ve finished it. We all took a vote on it.”
“Yes we did,” Peter Pettigrew piped up in turn, nodding feverantly in agreement. “And Remeus was the winner.”
“Only because I didn’t want Snape sticking his greasy nose in – “James replied, seemingly exasperated, then looking curiously over the parchment again. “What you adding now.”
Remeus smiled, and finished his drawing of the latest corridor, rather pleased with his own cartography. “Now we’ll know where Peeves is.”
“I suppose that is useful.” Said James, nodding in resigned approval as the school’s poltergeist’s name began to roam back and forth in a diagonal pattern across the page. “Should save us getting into some more trouble.”
“I wouldn’t bank on it.” Came a voice behind them, startling each of the boys with its slight ring of authority.
“Lilly!” James said, jumping up and hastily covering the map with his back to the table, facing his on-and-off girlfriend, so that the others could quickly obscure the map’s contents once more. “What you doing here?”
“Never mind that-“ Lilly replied sharply, leaning over his shoulders trying to see as James frantically waved his hands behind his back to give his friends the signal. “What are you up to now?”
“Nothing Lilly, nothing,” Said Peter, in his usual meek, fidgety tone, “We’re just catching up on a few bits from Potions.”
“Sure,” said Lilly, moving closer again, trying to catch another glance as she noticed the Marauders’ sheepish looks. “And I suppose you expect Professor Slughorn to give you extra credit too?” Her bright bottle green eyes making Pettigrew squirm.
“No-umm-well you see-umm…”
Lilly frowned, turning to James she stepped close and replied in a rather dramatic whisper. “If we weren’t in the library I swear I’d-“
Sirius grinned playfully choosing to stick up for his friend. “Ah, come on Lilly- it’s just…” Only for her to shut him down in turn.
Leaving them to their own devices Remeus muttered “Mischief managed,” under his breath and folded up the parchment neatly, pressing it into his inner breast pocket just in time; when he heard her voice.
“Hi Reme,” Looking up Remeus couldn’t help but smile.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2: Ravenclaw in the Tower
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As quick as Emmalena could bat an eye-lid, she heard his chair scrape across the floor, and found herself scooped up and into the warm arms of her boyfriend Remeus as he gave her a gentle hug. For a moment the two could have happily lost themselves from their surroundings; ignoring the reprimanding Lilly as she scolded James in her usual quick-fire tone.
Their relationship was very different. Ever since Emmalena and Remeus had met, they had been almost inseparable; well as much as they could be with their rather large group of friends. Still they always made an effort to hold each other’s hands as they walked, or shared their breaks together; preferring to spend time outside under the trees; or in quiet corners where they could sit and read or look out at the stars. It had been a gradual romance, as both were naturally shy; and it had been with their friends help that Remeus had finally plucked up enough courage to ask Emmalena out in their third year. Still their kisses were always tender, and with a gentle kindness; they supported one and other through their ups and downs; like best friends and lovers.
Still, even with her eyes shut; Emmalena couldn’t ignore the loudening protests from James Potter as Lilly beat his knuckles with a ruler she had grabbed from the table. For now as the couple looked around they could see that Sirius who had been laughing moments before was now yelping in surprise as the ruler flew down onto his own exposed knuckles. Peter in return had said nothing, cowering slightly as he edged away from Lilly; certain that in a few moments she might also turn on him. Remeus sighed slightly, stroking Emmalena’s hair in an affectionate manner as he whispered to her – “Guess Prongs asked for that one.”
Emmalena giggled, and nodded in agreement. “That’s for sure, right Kay?”
Silence greeted her.
“Huh, Kayleigh was here?” asked Sirius as he turned his head rapidly scanning their assigned table; before Lilly made an assult on his knuckles once more.
“I didn’t see her.” Remeus admitted sheepishly. “Peter?”
“No,” quipped up Pettigrew, in his usual timid tone, ducking as Lilly raised her ruler towards him.
“Oh,” said Emmalena, slightly bewildered. Standing up she looked around at the nearest shelves and tables to them.
“I’m sure she’s fine,” James replied, rubbing the back of his neck as Lilly finally placed down the ruler, only to glare at him a moment later. “I mean, we should go look for her. The library will be closing soon.”
“Right,” chorused the others, finally back as a team.
It was decided that they should split into groups, since the Hogwarts Library was a vast collection of bookcases, globes and beautifully covered tomes. Here and there were long wooden tables and benches for students to work on their study or homework, and a few choice arm chairs for those amongst them who were Library Prefects such as Emmalena which had been placed by the school librarian; under some insistence from their headmaster the kindly Professor Dumbledore; who had always had a soft-spot for his pupils and loved to support them wherever possible.
Candles hung from the ceiling in places, and rich art-deco styled lamps were placed on each table edge, to allow for night study during exam periods; and for older students.
The group had drawn lots; under Lilly’s insistence, that this was the fairest way to get things done; and to avoid her boyfriend a while longer. Instead she had chosen to go with Peter, who was much too nervous to voice his own fears; Emmalena was to go with Remeus, and James went with Sirius; muttering under his breath about Lilly ‘fixing’ the lots in her favour.
Each team headed in a different direction, promising to meet in the centre of the library, once they had concluded their search and off they went.
“Why couldn’t we just use the map?” moaned Sirius to James, as they headed towards the Charms section, on the third floor of the library hall.
“Because, one: the girls would see.” James replied, patting him reassuringly on the head. “Come on, let’s go.”
“Why so chipper?” asked the young Black curiously, “Thought Lilly forced you into this –“ then he paused, noticing the grin on his friend’s face. “Ah, it’s because you want to get back in her good books right?”
James said nothing, only grinned and replied as if ignoring the directly obvious statement. “And two, Padfoot my ol’ friend, Moony’s got it.”
“You’re a pain you know that Prongs?” said Sirius, raking a hand through his messy black hair, as he ran to catch up as the infamous James Potter sprinted away from him looking for their friend. “But I know you love her,”
“Keep telling yourself that,” Said James, laughter filling his voice in its usual mischievous glee.
“I’m scared,” murmured Peter almost under his breath, as Lilly lead them under one of the vast skeletal constructions of bones from mythical and magical creatures.
Lilly smiled sympathetically. Of all the group, she had been the one who had insisted that ‘Wormtail’ be allowed to be part of their gang; having sensed some potential in the short, round, young wizard; though admittedly few knew what it was. “Come on Peter, it’s not that bad,” she promised, lighting her wand to provide some light on the library floor in front of them. “They’re just shadows.”
“Yeah, but they can come to life in the night.” Peter quivered, “James told me.”
“Oh Pish, Posh,” Lilly replied, shaking her head, though she couldn’t help but grin again. “If that were true, they wouldn’t leave them suspended from the ceiling.”
“I suppose,” Peter said in a weedy voice. “But James said that’s why they lock the library up at night.”
Lilly smiled and shook her head, but replied calmly; knowing that the youngest Marauder would need some encouragement.
“Then let’s be sure to find Kayleigh first, right?”
Earning a slight squeak in reply, as Peter scurried next to her; focusing on the light from the edge of her wand that illuminated their path that lay ahead.
Remeus and Emmalena walked at a steady pace. Although they had obvious concern for their friend, the two also enjoyed the time they could spend together alone; Remeus assuring his beloved that she could squeeze his hand for comfort should she feel scared; as they headed towards the top tower. This was a small room, which was placed not far from the tomes of the Restricted Section of the library, though few students ventured there, after being told of the ‘shrieking’ book by a watchful Irma Prince; the young but forthright librarian, who made a habit of protecting her books as if they were her babies; and fixing dark looks upon students who routinely might have crumpled or creased the books’ pages, or caused other forms of disruption.
“Do you think she’s ok?” Emmalena asked anxiously, as they crept along, keeping close together so as to not draw attention to themselves on the slightly creaky floorboards.
“I’m sure she’s fine,” Remeus affirmed, smiling gently at her, with his lovely hazel eyes that Emmalena loved. “In fact, I’m sure she’s more than fine.” He added as he reached the top step and slowly opened the door.
There before them they saw Kayleigh sitting by the window, reciting incantations to a boy sat on a stool nearby nodding along with her words as he took notes in a black notebook. Emmalena joined her boyfriend into the room, as she soon as she saw the familiar shadow, and made to greet her, but sensing her boyfriend’s silence, she too said nothing and waited nervously.
No one spoke at first, the boy had instantly bolted upright as they approached, and cleared his throat and Kayleigh lifted her head, uncertainly as she greeted them in a slightly nervous manner. “Umm…you guys…this is,…”
“Benjamin Samuels,” the guy cutting in, moving forward with an extended hand. His robes were of similar colour to the three Griffindors’, with the usual Hogwarts crest atop his black cloak. Only this was a crest of silver and bottle blue, the insignia of the Hogwarts house of Ravenclaw.
After a while, James had begun to slow down. Whilst he would assure Sirius it was because he was tired, he had noticed that Lilly and Peter were approaching them in the centre of the library, where the group had already agreed to meet.
“Did you find them?” asked Lilly, oblivious to James’ puffed out chest, in the pride that he had arrived first.
Sirius shook his head. “Not yet, no. You?”
Lilly frowned, also shaking her head, on behalf of herself and Peter, who was walking slowly behind her, wheezing slightly to catch his breath again. It was though he had been running, to avoid all the skeletons they encountered, which had remained stationary all the while; save for the growing shadows that flickered in the dull light from the Lumos spell, cast from Lily’s wand.
The group were silent for a moment. Sirius’ shoulders slumped slightly, as Lilly pondered to herself about their next move. The library was quieter at time of day; although here and there other students were sat engrossed in study; and would perhaps be more than a little disgruntled should they be disturbed. At least, this was Lily’s initial thoughts as they rested for a moment.
“Come to think of it.” Sirius pondered, startling Peter who had almost drifted into a slight sleep. “Isn’t Emmalena usually the first back?”
“True,” murmured Lilly, “I hope nothing bad has happened to her.”
“I’m sure it hasn’t,” Said James; perhaps rather insensitively. He was either oblivious to his girlfriend’s concern, or was trying to cheer her up as he continued. “She’s probably enjoying some alone time with Remeus.”
At this, Sirius stifled a snigger and nudged James in the ribs; as he noticed Lily’s brow darken.
With a slight yelp; James leapt back to his feet, and said with as much determination as he could muster. “Let’s go to the common-room, maybe someone has seen them there?” The others following in his wake.
"Samuels?" Remeus asked hesitantly, "You’re a Ravenclaw aren't you?"
"Don't be so surprised," Emmalena replied gently, nudging him forward. "Kay's always gone for a guy with smarts."
Remeus smiled, pretending to feign hurt "guess that rules me out right?"
Emmalena swotted him playfully. "So how did you guys meet?"
Now it was Benjamin's turn to grow red.
Kayleigh smiled, with renewed confidence. "We're both in the same Arthmancy class; and Ben is part of the press society with me."
"Oh," murmured Remeus, watching as his girlfriend moved over to hug her friend. Then smiled extending his hand in turn. "Pleased to meet you Samuels."
The two boys shook hands cordially, Ben was an inch or so taller in bright, with cropped brown hair that covered over his ears with slight side burns. In his front pocket he had a smart feather quill made of barn owl feathers, which he must have pocketed when he noticed they had company.
The group spoke for a while, learning a few bits here and there about each other. Samuels was a good conversationalist, and invited Remeus to join him on the debate club should he find himself at a loose end. When suddenly the chime of the bell sounded echoing across the narrow circular walls; bringing all four to their feet.
“Gosh is it that time already?” Emmalena asked concerned, checking on her simple watch which hung around her wrist illuminating the hours and minutes of the day in sunshine and moon engraving. “I had no idea that it was time for divination.”
“Clearly not, since you didn’t see it coming.” Teased Kayleigh, before gently tugging on her friend’s arm. “Come let’s go get our books. I left mine in the seventh floor corridor next to the -”
The girls trailed off as they exited the tower together, Remeus watched for a moment, smiling almost wistfully to himself.
“Are they always that scatty?” Ben quizzed him, as he gathered up his bundle of belongings from the side table. Remeus smiled, warmly.
“Aye, but I know what matters most is always there.” He replied, his words almost to himself. Ben smiled back.
“Got it bad then?”
“Maybe,” Remeus replied barely concealing a blush as he raked a hand nervously through his hair. “But we’ve been through a lot together.”
Subconsciously his eyes darkened as though caught in a memory before he smiled once more to his companion, quickly bringing his mind back to the present. “Hey, I’ll meet you later, I think our friends will be wondering where we are.”
Ben had barely time to react, before Remeus rushed out the door as his girlfriend had done before him. In a rush of black, grey, gold and crimson robes, Remeus’s steps quickened, heading hastily back to the common room, long before Irma Prince could spot him. Still, even had she called after him, he might not have heard her, now remembering his first meeting with the girl with tawny brown hair and cornflower eyes that had so long caught his heart.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3: Introductions
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Remeus John Lupin had long known he was different. Since the age of five when he had been bitten by the werewolf Greyback, he had been potted back and forth between his parents and various different healers, in a bid, or so they said; to restore him to a ‘normal’ condition. As such he had found his childhood rather difficult, and somewhat disruptive; dropping in and out of his wizarding primary school due to ‘ill health’ and eventually taking up home schooling. A measure, in which is mother had surmised would be the safest and most beneficial option.
He was a lonely child, and whilst he studied well; he took every chance he could to escape to watch the other children playing together or doing other things that young children. He was only ever allowed to watch however, under strict instruction that he must not endanger others.
Night after night he had found himself haunted in those early days by nightmares and drawings of werewolves and other night terrors; pained by a lack of understanding, and the hurtful rumours that circulated around him; like a darkened superstition.
However, one day it all changed.
He had been sat alone in his room at his desk when the owl arrived, pecking impatiently at his bedroom window, bringing with it the beautifully scripted envelope penned in an elder’s hand.
‘Mr. Remeus J. Lupin,’
As soon as the owl had been allowed to enter, Remeus had grabbed the letter and torn it open in excitement. He had been accepted to join Hogwarts. A grand school indeed, and one of which he had read of often in many of his worn, second hand, home-school textbooks and in the great tomes of his father’s library.
With great haste Remeus leapt up and headed to the living room, where he found his parents sat by the fireplace, his mother hard at work on her embroidery, and his father reading the Daily Prophet, smoking on one of his favourite musky flavoured pipes.
“What’s the hurry Remeus?” asked his mother, in a soft sympathetic tone; watching her son’s change in demeanour, and noticing the parchment in his outstretched trembling hands. His father grunted. Obediently, the younger Lupin sat down passing his mother the letter.
“It’s Hogwarts,” Remeus replied. “I’ve been enlisted.”
For a moment Hope Lupin was silent, as though considering her words or that of her husband, placing the needle down on the textured pattern within the hoop on her knees and turning to Lyall.
Lyall cleared his throat. “I don’t think that will be a good idea.” He said solemnly.
“What?!” Remeus protested, leaping to his feet. “Father, please I-“
“You could hurt other children.” His father replied sharply, “Or worse, they could hurt you. You will find yourself friendless and exposed.”
“There is nothing worse.” Lyall continued shaking his head, his voice rising over that of his son. “Than being caught out with no means of protecting oneself, you would be far safer here with your mother and I.”
This time Remeus managed to speak, his words animated. “Father, the world is slowly changing, Professor Dumbledore writes –“
“I’m sure he does,” his father grunted, “But you are still my son, and still under my care. You are not going!”
So saying he took the letter from his son’s outstretched and trembling hands and folded it quickly, before placing it into the folds of his waistcoat.
As he did, anger filled Remeus sharply, in a way he had never felt before. He had always been a patient and obedient child; and whilst curious had never once stepped out of line, valuing the scholarly wisdom and knowledge of his father. But this, he could stand no longer.
“I am not your project Father!” he spat bitterly, before fleeing from the room, his thoughts swelling with resentment, turbulence and fear.
He wasn’t sure where he ran next, though he knew it was outside the house. Further up the road he ran, still blinded by the glazed haze of pending tears. On and on, until he stopped at a small park.
It was peaceful here, and extremely quiet, one might have even mistaken it for a muggle park, had it not been for the enchanted fountain which spouted a brightly coloured stream of green and white foam from the lips of the jade and turquoise coloured fish held up in its centre.
Left alone to his thoughts, Remeus sat on a bench and finally let himself cry. When he felt a small prod in the small of his back, spinning him round in slight alarm.
In an outstretched hand, lay a single clean, white handkerchief; perched daintily on the hand of a small girl about his age, though shorter than he was.
“Please take it,” she said softly, “I didn’t mean to startle you. I just hated seeing you so sad.”
Remeus bit his tongue slightly and gingerly took it from her mumbling his “Thank you,” weakly.
The girl smiled a little, bundling herself onto the bench beside him.
“My name’s Emmalena,” she told him earnestly, again offering her hand as if to shake his. “But you can call me Emmi.”
“That’s, that’s a nice name.” Remeus replied again quietly, then in a bid to refrain from being rude he continued. “I’m Remeus.”
“Remeus,” Emmalena answered, pausing for a moment and putting her finger to her lips thoughtfully. “As in the wolf?”
“Pardon?” squeaked Remeus, visibly shaken, for he had never before told anyone of his condition.
“Yes,” Emmalena continued, as if almost not noticing him for a moment. “From Roman mythology, Remeus was one of two brothers raised by a wolf. Between them both, they forged the land of Rome.”
“Oh,” Remeus replied bashfully.
“You must not remember your basic mythology.” Emmalena answered gently, though with some surprise. “Didn’t they teach it to you in Beginners Magic 101.”
“Not really,” Remeus admitted gently. “To be honest I don’t remember school.”
“But you are a wizard right?” Emmalena pressed again keenly. “I mean, I think you are right?” Now it was her turn to be embarrassed. Remeus smiled.
“Yeah, I got invited to join Hogwarts today.”
“That’s great!” Emmalena said earnestly, in such a way that Remeus couldn’t help but like her already. “I got my letter through today, I can’t wait to be sorted, and try all those lovely foods in the Great Hall and –“
Remeus sighed and shook his head a little. “It’s a bit more complicated than that, my parents want me to remain home-schooled.”
“But why?!” Emmalena asked shocked. “It’s a real honour to get sent to Hogwarts, I’ve heard their selection process is really selective. To get in at all, it’s a privilege… you must have done something really bad.”
“Something like that,” Remeus answered again with a sigh. “But once my father gets an idea stuck, it takes a miracle to change his mind.”
Emmalena pouted slightly, her lips pursed as she propelled herself onto her elbows, supporting her head deep in thought. Remeus watched her briefly, before turning away as quickly as he could, remembering the words his mother had once told him. It’s never polite to stare. Finally Emmalena replied again, her braided hair swinging slightly as she bolted upright.
“You must go to Hogwarts, you just must, and otherwise I’ll be sad and stuff and I won’t go either!”
Remeus smiled a little, despite the situation he couldn’t help but find her words very touching. Prior to their meeting Remeus had made few friends, although here was a girl, his age he’d just met that day, and already felt content in her company, temporarily forgetting his predicament.
He was just about to tell her that it was alright, and that he would find a way to win his father round when a voice cut through the air.
“Emm!” Both children jumped and then Emmalena turned and waved frantically, to the caller.
Remeus could now see another girl, from her height, even at a distance, his wolverine instincts helped him determine she was the same age. He wasn’t sure whether to speak.
Emmalena smiled broadly, at her friend, and jumped off the bench, about to leave. Supressing an inner sigh, Remeus closed his eyes, wondering how he might proceed next. He was socially awkward and inexperienced at the best of times of talking to one girl, but two? Thankfully, Emmalena took action.
“I’m sorry Remeus.” She said gently, and apologetically. “I have to go now, my friend Kay and I having a sleepover, and we want to bake some cookies, and write poems and –“
“That’s ok,” Remeus replied with a blush, this time raking a hand nervously through his hair. “You go, I shouldn’t keep you, I hope you have a lovely night and good luck in Hogwarts.”
“You too.” She answered smiling, then pressed her handkerchief back into his hands, watching the confusion in his eyes.
“But this is yours…” he murmured.
She smiled again warmly, and ran off towards her friend, her long braided hair swaying in the breeze, then when she was almost there she turned again and called to him in an affection grin:
“Give it to me again when we are at Hogwarts.”
And then she was gone. Remeus watched them for a moment, clutching the handkerchief, as he ran home in turn. The sweet smell of roses still hung in the air as he cradled it gently as a mother might a young baby whispering softly to himself: “I will.”
Remeus was not sure when he had fallen in love with her. Though he was certain that the young girl who had gently pressed her handkerchief to him all those years ago had stirred love within his heart. A number of times he had been told it was a childhood crush, a passing fancy of adolescence and that it would pass. Yet whenever he caught sight of her he knew it was her instantly. The rest of the world became almost cold and grey in comparison, and had he held his breath in those few minutes he would have decided that she was his eternity and his fate.
Naturally he had insisted on a slow romance, knowing that he was not the rash lust filled chaser of his peers. James had only recently encouraged Lily to accept him to the dance but even then had almost blown it mid-sentence - as he showed off his latest conquest - brandishing a book he had "borrowed" from Severus Snape.
Although it had taken more persuading, and the good words of Albus Dumbledore, Remeus had managed to enrol at Hogwarts. Though he had few possessions, he made sure to pack the handkerchief in his trunk, protecting it as best he could in a small wooden box, lined with tissue paper.
He had known her instantly when he had seen her on the platform, her hair was still braided although she had gained a little height from her school shoes. The uniform suited her perfectly, and looked to be brand new – quite unlike his own hastily bought second hand robes. But as soon as she saw him she smiled wide, and embraced him with a gentle hug, calling in that familiar singsong voice.
Natural instinct had suggested he give her the handkerchief there and then, but he noted that they were not alone, for the slight cough coming from their side. Springing apart Remeus blushed as he noticed the other girl beside her, holding to her side a pet carrier.
“Oh, umm,” Emmalena blushed a little in turn. “This is Kayleigh, Kayleigh, this is Remeus we’re all first years together.”
Kayleigh regarded him with some suspicion and then smiled in term offering her hand. “Kayleigh Phillips, a pleasure to meet you Remeus –“
“Lupin,” he supplied in turn. “So we’re all going to be first years together.”
“That’s right,” Emmalena beamed, “Gosh, I hope we all get placed in the same house together.”
“House?” Remeus stammered slightly.
The two girls giggled a little and so Emmalena lead him on with them as they walked talking about classes and the history of the school and so on. The girls were incredibly animated, and for a while Remeus was subdued as he attempted to take on as much information as he could. Thankfully, Emmalena seemed to understand, making sure to introduce him to each of the individuals they met.
He had become good friends with Sirius and James quickly too, each eager to break the ice with minor jokes and card games in the dormitory. Emmalena had insisted they met, having noted that Sirius and Remeus both had names to do with animals, “Specifically,” as she had stressed herself canines.
And so the friendship had begun to blossom.
And friendship had got them together.
One day in third year, Kayleigh had insisted that Remeus accompany Emmalena to the store cupboard for Professor Binns, the History of Magic teacher. It had been a simple task, though the professor often sought out multiple items as and when he required them, inkwells and cauldrons, vials and quills – sometimes all together sometimes one at a time, but always in vast quantities, as if they were an appropriate test of some sorts for student’s on their keenness to succeed and flourish. That and being a ghost it made it rather taxing for him to try and gather items, since they had a habit of going through him.
Remeus had of course obliged, due to a slight kick to the shin. He had been meaning to ask Emmalena out before then, though he had always found himself incredibly nervous and would forever spend the time trying to adjust his tie and murmur something about returning a library book.
When asked why he had put things off, by the gang he had always insisted that she was out of his league, and far, far too intelligent to want to date someone like him, the boys would snort and roll their eyes and James would insist that Lily was more intelligent, only for his own interest to storm off in a huff at him. That said, the real reason, deep down that Remeus kept hidden was that he was scared of losing her friendship, and kept like a promise from the handkerchief she had given him, three and a half years or so years before.
So he had gone to the cupboard, following after her. She was close enough now that he could see each individual wave of her hair as it fanned over her shoulders. He remembered still the day it had begun to grow, and how she had begun to loosen it from her braids and plaits. That said her hair had a natural curl at the front, he had always admired. He walked on, his footsteps mirroring the thud, thud, thudding of his heartbeat.
Emmalena had acknowledged him when they had stood up from their stools, and given him that soft smile he treasured. Offering him the long scroll of parchment that detailed their teacher’s requests as she bustled forward. He scanned it now, aware of Emmalena as she stood herself up on a stool, leaning to the top shelf humming slightly as she spoke.
“So what do we need Reme?”
“Ummm,” clearing his throat Remeus scanned the list once more looking blankly at the first item. “Five copies of An Appraisal of Magical Education in Europe.”
Emmalena nodded, reaching her pale white arms to the shelf.
It would be no surprise to say that Remeus was flushing red, grateful that the scroll covered his face. For being a young teen, had he followed in his peers’ stead would have been gazing up at the slender formed girl in the short burgundy and gold tartan skirt.
“Next?” Emmalena’s cheerful tone continued, above him.
“Sixteen Basic Hexes for the Busy and Vexed…”
“What?” Emmalena asked slightly, twisting her position a little so she could peer down at the list as well. “Are you sure it’s not six?”
Remeus was about to look again, when he noticed that Emmalena’s stance was not safe, the heel of her left foot was precariously close to the edge of the stool, at a height that would no doubt injure her if she was not careful; and she had always been a little clumsy.
Still, he was quicker, with wolf like agility, he swept her off the stool, just as it fell to the floor with a loud clatter. Time seemed to stand still as she pressed slightly into his arms, like a small china doll, her deep cornflower blue eyes staring into his rich hazel, first with surprise then with the twinkle he had grown so fond. She was by no means dainty, but he did not seem to notice, although he could not keep at this forever, for even thirteen year old boys have their limits. As if on cue his knees began to buckle and he fell against her, bringing them both to the ground.
“Are you hurt?” Remeus asked as he opened his eyes, scratching his head slightly as he caught her. Emmalena nodded numbly, her words tumbling out of her with a slight rosy tint on her cheeks.
“Umm no, I don’t think so, thank you.” She murmured.
“I’m so glad,” he whispered, “Do you want to stand?”
She nodded, hoping he could not notice the growing blush she tried to cover with her hair and made to rise, only to crumple slightly.
“What’s wrong?!” Remeus asked sharply, “Emmi what did you do?”
Emmalena shook her head again, “Nothing, nothing, I’m fine.”
Supporting her as best he could against the stool, Remeus bent down and removed her shoe, gently touching her foot, confusion swiftly changed to pain as she whimpered when he touched the ankle.
“This looks broken!” he said sharply, cursing inwardly that he had not been quick enough. “We should get you to the infirmary!”
“Nonsense,” Emmalena replied brushing it off dismissively, “I’m fine, besides we have a job to do.”
“A job that can wait.” Remeus replied briskly, now lifting her again. “I’m taking you to the hospital wing.”
Emmalena sighed, she had never liked hospitals, but she could see the fear within his eyes and slowly nodded.
His eyes softened, “Right, let’s go,”
So it was that he took her to the hospital wing, cradling her gently against him, whilst she nuzzled into his embrace slightly, insisting on him remaining all the while until the matron told them otherwise, and the sheets of pale white curtains surrounded the bed, whilst the Skele-gro was applied.
It wasn’t long of course with such news that their friends rushed into the ward, crowding round with wide eyes and questions. Kayleigh in particular was concerned that she had indirectly caused the accident and had to be calmed by Lilly. The boys in contrast were making a few jokes here and there, all except Peter who had sat there trembling.
Visitors were finally allowed. Although her condition was not too serious, they were admitted one at a time. Kayleigh naturally insisting on going first. Then Lilly, Ashli, Peter, Sirius and James.
Finally, Remeus was allowed to go and see her, she was propped up on the bed with three white pillows, still in her school uniform, since the matron asked the girls to go and fetch her some over-night clothes. She looked like an angel. Her eyes were closed and for a moment Remeus thought she was asleep until she gently reached and caught his hand whispering his name.
Voice catching in his throat, Remeus replied: “Yes?” relief filling him as he noticed she was just a little worn out as a side effect from the foul smelling antidote.
Emmalena smiled, and lent forward stiffening a little in pain as she kissed his cheek and murmured: “Thank you,”
Remeus blushed again and smiled in turn. “It was the least I could do,” he shrugged, trying to sound nonchalant, certain that at any moment the boys would pull open the curtain and begin to tease them about how close they were.
Emmalena shook her head and whispered, “I mean it, thank you Reme,”
“You must rest, or that ankle will take ages to fix.” He said, gently helping her ease onto the pillows again.
Emmalena nodded. “Your girlfriend is a lucky girl,” she murmured.
“Girlfriend?” Remeus asked incredulously, “I don’t have a girlfriend, I mean there’s a girl I like but umm.”
“Oh?” she asked, “Do I know her?”
Smiling inwardly, Remeus thought to himself how very like her it was, ever keen to learn about the wellbeing of others. Then he nodded, Kayleigh’s voice as she left the bedside:
It’s now or never Lupin!
So he continued. “It’s you.”
Emmalena gasped, weariness temporarily escaping her as she lifted off the bed. For a moment, Remeus felt like he couldn’t move, closing his eyes he recited a few words to himself, as though the mantra would somehow calm him, only to find Emmalena staring up at him for the second time that day. Nervously he met her gaze.
“Are you sure?” she mouthed slightly. Remeus nodded.
“I’m so glad,” she breathed outwardly, as though she had been prolonging her thoughts. “I love you Remeus!”
Fear was replaced with joy as he pulled her closer to him, forgetting for a moment that she needed to rest as he held her close, bending down to kiss her as he whispered: “I love you too.”
Their first kiss was short and sweet, as he held her face in his hands kissing her softly and gingerly, each of them having never kissed another person before. It felt like a dream, at least it was until the matron returned and had prised them apart reprovingly, reiterating the importance of her patient’s rest.
Blushes and silence returned them Emmalena smiled, trying to stifle a yawn. For all his gentlemanly acts, she had never seen Remeus so ruffled before, a thought that made her giggle a little. His hair was muddled over his hazel chocolate eyes, as he returned her gaze.
“Time to rest Emmi,” he murmured, reaching to pull the blanket close to her, so she wouldn’t catch cold.
Emmalena pouted, she had never liked hospitals and had often made a point of telling people so. Well that was not true, she loved seeing people cured and happy, but being in one often made her nervous, as it had done since she was a child. In a small, childish voice she whispered: “Stay with me,”
Remeus didn’t need a second thought, with a slight look for approval from the matron who gave a stiff, and resigned nod he kissed Emmalena on the nose and replied. “I will.”
“I’m so glad,” Emmalena replied gently, her eyes drifting closed as the Skele-gro began to take effect once more. “I hope you will be here when I wake.”
Remeus nodded and grinned wide, watching her with compassion as he whispered his first promise to her.
Chapter 4: Chapter 4: Picnics and Polyjuice
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Author's Note: I'm truly sorry that this chapter has taken so long for me to write/upload. Life has been a bit crazy since I started, but I know a few people were excited to see what happens next, and a few curious to see how I would write one of the pivotal chapters of the previous editions of this story; particularly through the eyes of a nearly 26 year old woman, and not my former 14 year old, angsty self. Well here it is, I also want to say a huge thank you to my beta reader and best friend Kayleigh, who has prodded me and reminded me to keep writing and that my writing doesn't "suck" even if I have my odd moments of doubt. Anywhoo... Chapter 4.
Although it only took a few days for Emmalena’s ankle to heel, Remeus had made a point of visiting her daily, cradling in his arms a cluster of parchments with notes from the classes she was missing, and flowers from the grounds of the castle. The warm sun brought beautiful blooms to the school’s bountiful gardens and lined the hedgerows and pathways in light pastels and vivid fragrances, which Remeus brought in to her bedside.
This tradition had continued on that morning when Remeus presented her with a bouquet of larkspur he had found by the lake. It was a weekend and the group had decided to make the most of the summer by having a picnic together and swimming in the cool, fresh water. The girls had made the food, and had laid out a magnificent spread of sweet and savoury treats in multi shaped dishes and plates, over the gingham chequered rug they had set out under the shade of one of the school’s broad oak trees. Kayleigh had invited Ben, who had obliged carrying the basket of cupcakes she baked from the main building. Although Peter had been reluctant to attend, murmuring here and there about the risks associated with deep water and the diseases one could catch from the reeds, the teens were largely content, happily dressed in their casual clothes, rather than the mass of black cloaks and starched white shirts.
Watching the happy couples side by side, Ashli sighed slightly. She had sat herself next to Sirius, or rather pressed herself between the former and James all too willingly. Now that Kayleigh and Ben had officially been dubbed an item, she was the only one of the group not to have a date for the ball. “Well Peter hasn’t either,” Lilly had reminded her, though she had ignored this, primarily because she still hoped that Sirius might ask her to go with him. She knew well, that despite his insistent defiance, that the shaggy haired boy would be wasted on hiding in the side-lines as James went after Lilly; and she was determined that he should be her date.
As it stood now however, Sirius seemed completely oblivious to her, having set his eyes on a number of food items. She was tempted to nudge him sharply with her elbow, but it would do little good. Sirius was not as eloquent with knowledge as Ben who was discussing at length a rare species of butterfly with Kayleigh. Nor was he was honest and romantic as Remeus who was holding Emmalena's head in his lap stroking her long soft brown hair as she read to them both. He was to a point as flamboyant as James, though he seemed more interested in pastries and switching his bottles of lemonade for Butterbeer when he thought none were looking.
It would be far easier to find a boy who returned her gaze, and a number of boys had expressed interest in her from the Gryffindor common room, or even a few Hufflepuff boys who had nodded toward her across the Quiditch pitch when the school houses competed for sporting glory. But here she was smiling and sighing as Sirius continued his antics. Love she decided was complicated, and it would take more than a few tarot cards and the recommended scholarly thesis for her to understand it.
Hearing her friend sigh, Emmalena sat up, leaning forwards to the spread of food, to whisper into her friend’s ear. “You okay Ashli?”
Ashli nodded, numbly, mustering what she hoped was a convincing smile.
Emmalena acknowledged her and picked up one of the bread rolls from the rug, a small plan already circulating in her mind. Drawing a paper napkin underneath the roll, she discretely jotted a few notes down using the small pocket quill she kept in her pocket, with a soft smile; determining to tell the other girls later. It was time to do a little detective work.
That night, sitting at the foot of their beds, Emmalena, Kayleigh, Lilly and Ashli were sat in animated conversation, a selection of books from their potions classes and the library had been propped open, including Moste Potente Potions by Phineas Bourne. This book was usually in the restricted section of the school library, but thankfully Emmalena’s role as a Library Prefect came in very useful for sourcing the more obscure material including how to make Polyjuice Potion.
What took more persuading was asking Lilly to help brew it. Although it would take a month to prepare. it was fair to say that out of the four of them, Lilly was the best at Potions class. In addition, whilst she would not admit it, she was exceptionally good at sourcing ingredients due to her friendship with a fellow sixth year, Severus Snape – who was in Slytherin. Since she had started becoming close to James, this friendship had weaned a little in the past year or so, but she could still count on him to help her, although none of the others were exactly sure why.
Still, Lilly was more concerned about the nature of their task, presenting her inner conflict as both wanting to help Ashli and being caught out especially with the decision by their headmaster to bring forward the recommendations of students and staff for the posts of Head Girl and Boy. A role, she was hoping to claim for herself.
Kayleigh on the other hand, had insisted to her of how accomplished she was at spells, and should not panic, as they were unlikely to be caught out if they were sensible, and stuck to their positions and duties in this mission. They were after all, not known in the school as the Marauder Girls for nothing.
The girls had initially drawn lots to decide who would take the potion. Having experienced the sickly smell of a brewing pot via Slughorn’s demonstration in their sixth year, they all remembered with a slight grimace the fate that would befall one of them. Ashli reasoned however, that it would be pointless her attempting to ask Sirius herself; pretend boy or not she had a habit of fidgeting with her glasses, in a manner that was instantly recognisable. That, and she most likely would have found herself tongue tied if trying to talk to her crush. Lilly had also escaped the duty, since she would need to brew and hide the potion, using a number of follow on spells to mask the odour in their room, should it cling to the girl’s dormitory like a stubborn stain.
So, the duty had fallen to Emmalena and Kay. Pinching her nose Emmalena lifted her goblet in time with her best friend, quietly going over the fine details of their plan a final time. They were to become fifth year boys, using aliases from some of their textbooks. It was a risky plan, but with the exception of Remeus, the boys were unlikely to notice, since they were rarely glued to their studies, and usually dedicated their time to discussing Quidditch, pranks or playing games of Wizard’s Chess and Exploding Snap.
Then they drank.
Eyes blurring slightly in pain, Emmalena decided that the potion tasted far worse than it smelt. Once the burning had subsided, she rushed to the dormitory’s long mahogany mirror, giving herself a quick once over, grateful that they had already changed into the boy’s slate grey uniform. A pair of hazel eyes blinked back at her, under a mop of strawberry blonde hair. “This is…”
“Surreal,” murmured Kay, who had joined her, downing a glass of water from the pitcher on her bedside table. At least she hoped it was Kay, dressed in matching robes and dark black hair; and speaking in a reedy, nasal tone, quite unlike her natural voice.
Had this been another moment in time, the two might have giggled at each other, or taken a photograph, but not now. Tapping her watch Lilly assured them they would have an hour or so at most to find out what they wanted, so now was the optimum time to enter the boy’s quarters without arousing suspicion.
The first thing that greeted them in the opposite sex’s rooms was the smell. It was a grim, sickly scent comprised of musk, aftershave and hormones. Emmalena silently thought to herself that she should thank Remeus for always washing himself, rather than wasting his time on expensive liquors and seedy magazines. Working angles at different parts of the dormitory, they had planned to make their excuses at the 45 minute mark, allowing them enough time to slip back unnoticed.
Emmalena who had introduced herself as a boy named Newt had taken up a post with an unsuspecting Peter, over a game of Gobstones, whilst Kay had taken up a pair of Quiditch boots and was polishing them in a rather determined and vigorous manner. Although her eyes were downcast, she was keenly listening to everything around her, including the cluster of Marauders.
“So,” she said drawing a ruby coloured stone onto the board. “I heard that the girls have got really excited about that Yule Ball coming up.”
“Oh, umm, yeah,” Peter replied, scratching his head a little in such a vigorous manner that flakes of dandruff drifted onto the collar of his burgundy and brown gingham pyjama top. “I suppose so.”
“They’re gonna be dressed up real good.” Emmalena reassured him, “I was thinking of asking that Huston girl out, you know?”
“What Ashli Huston?” Peter asked, or rather squeaked, curiosity clearly getting the better of him. It was a rare thing for him to be involved in gossip or conversations with anyone directly, and he seemed to relish it; despite his nerves. His fingers twitched slightly as he drew his playing piece across the board.
“Who else?” Emmalena continued slowly. “She’s always been so kind and attentive towards me in the common room.”
“Oh yeah?” Peter answered again, nerves faulting him slightly, Kayleigh stepped in, hoping to steer the oblivious Marauder in the right direction.
“Ashli?” she repeated. “I thought that she was Sirius Black’s girlfriend right?”
Her eyes probing Peter’s for answers.
Again Pettergrew’s nerves faltered. “Oh..um, sort of.”
“Sort of?” Emmalena asked, quickly exchanging a glance with Kay, trying to supress a rather large grin.
Peter gulped. “Well, I don’t think he’s asked her out yet, but umm, umm.”
Emmalena mouthed quietly to Kay, “Got him,” over Wormtail’s shoulder.
Now they just need confirmation. Kay asked: “So he likes her then?”
“Uh, Yeah.” Pettigrew affirmed.
“Black likes who?” asked a voice behind them, as Sirius Black, James Potter and Remeus Lupin entered the Gryffindor Common Room.
James Potter’s sharp eyes narrowed in curiosity, no doubt both interested in the latest gossip, and determining to maintain his best friend’s image. This was slightly frustrating to the girls; given the time restraints imposed on them by the potion, but then had the shoe been on the other foot, they would have done the same.
James took the seat immediately next to Peter, studying the Gobstones board, his hands almost lazily moving one piece in a counter motion. “Careful Peter,” he whispered, loud enough for everyone else to hear, “You might give up the game too easily.”
Remeus chuckled, sitting next to Emmalena, slopping his body forward slightly as he leaned towards her. For a brief moment their eyes met, and Emmalena wondered if he recognised her, even in her new temporal form. Her heart felt like it would beat out of its chest, quickening with each thud, thud, thud. But if he did, he said nothing, instead looking to the board again. “Give the fourth year a break.” He said gently, moving the foremost ruby stone again. “They’re still learning.”
“I’m not bad,” Emmalena replied, trying to maintain her composure. “It’s Pettigrew who is struggling.”
“Hey!” Protested Peter, almost feebly, though his response was overridden by the other Marauder’s laughter.
“He’s got you there,” Sirius replied, ruffling Peter’s hair roughly, then redirected his question.
“So who do I fancy?”
“I heard it was that Hudson girl,” replied Kay, taking a moment to glance at the clock. They had about five minutes to go, although she was already beginning to feel the familiar tingle she had during the transformation in her left foot. She stood sharply. “But, it’s just a silly rumour right? Come on Newt let’s go, I got to check the Owlery, Mum’s sent me some fudge.”
Emmalena nodded, taking the cue. She was just about to follow Kay out of the common room, when she felt a hand placed gently on her arm. Whirling round, she found Remeus stood before her, his other hand out stretching with the bag of Gobstones.
“Here, take these to practice with,” He murmured gently, his hazel eyes meeting hers, before whispering in her ear with a soft warm breath. “I know it’s you.”
Fear and shock immediately swept over her face, as Emmalena felt her cheeks begin to burn. But this was not the slight twinge she was expecting from the Polyjuice, merely a sudden rush of nausea. Remeus’ hand had subtly taken hers, Emmalena shook her head, and dismissing him in what she hoped was a convincing manner.
“I don’t know who you mean,” she answered quietly, more than definitely.
Remeus stepped back, releasing her hand. Confusion and hurt creeping into his expression. “Perhaps, I was mistaken.” He muttered, still trying to read her gaze.
“Moony come on,” came James’ voice, as he waved to him from the table, where Sirius and Peter were setting up a new game of Wizard’s chess.
“Coming,” Remeus replied turning back to them for a moment, before looking back for the strange young boy who had been trembling quietly beside him, who reminded him so subtly of the girl he loved.
But the boy, or Emmalena, or whoever it had been, had gone. The portrait of the Fat Lady swinging slightly with vocal protest, in his wake; and the Gobstones bag left on the ground, open slightly with its loosened golden thread.
Unsure of where Kayleigh had gone, Emmalena ran on blindly down the corridor, her robes were dragging slightly along the ground as her legs and arms changed back to their natural form. She determined not to call after her friend straight away, afraid that Remeus might be following her certain that she would not know how to explain herself if he confronted her now.
In contrast to the Marauder boys, the girls usually were less tricksters and more the thinkers of the group; and whilst the use of Polyjuice potion would no doubt demonstrate their shrewd thinking, she could not begin to guess how he might react knowing she had used a potentially dangerous spell on herself.
Tears welled in her eyes as she ran, Emmalena headed out onto the grounds, where she hoped to find Rubeus Hagrid’s hut. Although it had taken a little begging, the girls had asked him to look after their normal robes whilst they carried out their plan. Hagrid had been happy to help, if bemused and she looked in the dark of the night for the familiar flickering gold lamps that would greet her within the shack-like building.
Reaching out to wipe her face, she tripped on the large, baggy robes, slipping down on to the grass and landed with a slight thud. Temporarily winded she lay still for a moment, trying to reach for her wand from the inner folds of the cloak she was wearing, hopeful that she was far away from the castle to use a lighting spell to guide her onwards. But her fingers felt numb, closing she eyes she thought to count to ten; and give herself the composure necessary to go on.
Kayleigh brushed herself off as she straightened in front of the small cracked mirror in Hagrid’s hut, grateful at being back in her own clothes and the warm tankard of pumpkin juice that the groundskeeper had placed before her with a slight thud.
“So how did it go?” asked the giant, his large hands rummaging around with a spoon and a large pot of what she surmised was stew. The giant was only a few years older than herself, but he had always had a soft spot for the Marauders group who made a regular point of visiting him.
“Great, I think,” Kay murmured, trying not to pinch her nose at the taste of the drink, which was apt in colour if not in flavour to what she had been expecting.
“Yer like it?” Hagrid asked earnestly, turning to her, she smiled gulping a little, trying not to burn her throat. She nodded, breathlessly and decided to kindly deflect the question.
“We found out that Sirius does like Ashli.”
“That’s good,” Hagrid said satisfied, turning back to the pot. “But where’s Emmalena? Shouldn’t she be back now?”
Kayleigh turned her head, thoughtfully. “That’s true,” she replied. “I thought she was right behind me.”
Hagrid looked at her sharply, dropping the ladle with a sharp plop. “Ye mean she’s still out there?”
Kay nodded, standing to her feet. “We should go look for her!”
They had barely made the door when a sharp knock came from outside. Tearing it open Hagrid peered down to notice a breathless, but fearful Remeus Lupin who spoke in sharp raspy breaths.
Chapter 5: Chapter 5: Daydreams, Delirium and Dilemmas
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Author's Note: In this series I felt it would be a great touch if Polyjuice is detectable by soulmates, thus allowing them to always sense or know their partner is near. Thus Remeus is able to tell that Emmalena was using it, even if he didn't realise it fully at the time. Onwards...
Remeus wasn’t sure what had prompted him to run to Hagrid’s hut that night; only something within his heart had stirred, almost as though it were a cry of distress. He was only dimly aware of the others, as he stood there on the doorstep; desperately trying to take in his surroundings. A bundle of boys’ uniform items lay hastily folded on one of the large benches within the kitchen, like a collection of lost property or jumbled up laundry. Shaking himself inwardly he looked to Hagrid who had stood back from the doorframe to reveal Kayleigh, eye wide and lips twitching as she spoke. He barely caught her words: “What do you mean?” She had asked him.
Whilst he would never consider Kay a liar, the dull ache he felt grew stronger; it made him slightly light-headed. Grasping her quickly for a moment, in a move very unlike himself, he whispered fiercely, “Please Kay, tell me where is she?!”
For a moment Hagrid stepped closer, almost defensively, but Kay reassured him as best she could, looking instead deeply into Remeus’ eyes, trying to read him. There was an unmistakable sign of pleading in his voice and as he released her, she shook her head quietly. “I don’t know.”
Not even really hearing her reply Remeus darted off out towards the door, his cloak flapping in the wind as he shot off into the night.
“Hagrid grab a lantern!” Kay pressed, as she made to follow him, instantly lighting her wand. The fear in Remeus’s eyes had only confirmed it – something was very wrong.
All around her was a blanket of darkness. It’s gotten dark quickly, Emmalena mused to herself, although she had thought she had only closed her eyes for a moment. Scolding herself slightly she made to stand up, reasoning with herself: Kay and Hagrid will be waiting for me. But she was unable to move, it was a curious feeling. Like a lead balloon, Emmalena felt like she was floating and yet rooted firmly to the ground. I must have pins and needles, she half whispered to herself, trying to stay calm, as she made to stand again. Still, nothing, only that continuing void of black, like a spilt inkwell pooling everywhere.
She tried to scream, but her voice seemed to whisper, like a leaf caught in the wind.
Remeus was running so fast, Kay would later wonder how she caught up to him. Matching his strides as best she could, she could see the beads of sweat as they dripped down his cheeks from his messy, brown hair. “Tell me,” she asked, “How do you know she’s missing?”
“The Polyjuice.” Remeus replied, keeping his gaze straight ahead, as he scanned the landscape of the darkened school grounds.
Caught, momentarily off guard Kay stopped, clutching her side as she questioned him again. “How do you know? The girls, Emmalena and I all swore each other to secrecy.”
“And I believe they did.” Remeus affirmed, pausing for a moment to consider a new direction.
“Then how?” Kay replied cautiously, as Hagrid made his way towards them.
“I can’t explain it,” Remeus replied looking at her again with a piercing expression. “But I just knew it was her.”
“Remeus,” Hagrid called, his voice calling out over the wind, dangling his lantern from his large red hands as though it were nothing more than a Christmas bauble. “Which way?”
Closing his eyes for a moment, Remeus tried to focus, secretly wishing for a brief moment that his canine instincts he had developed as a werewolf might be able to help him then and there. The feeling in his chest was back, crushing him a little. He must try to focus.
Deep within himself he began to wonder how in fact he had known. In the common room, Remeus had been almost as oblivious as the others, but even afterwards as he watched his friends engaging in their usual hijinks, he had made to the girl’s room, if only to scold himself for his paranoia. The other girls had tried their best to detain him at first, each deflecting his comments as best they could; though they could not quite mask the smell of polyjuice potion – its unmistakable smell still coating the collection of cauldrons they had bunched hastily in a corner.
Emmalena was nowhere to be found.
And that was when the sickly feeling had started, something was wrong.
Very, very wrong.
And the feeling was getting stronger.
Snapping his eyes open, Remeus whipped his body round, hoping that he might find himself tangled in his bed sheets rather than searching for his beloved. The others watched him with a tinge of sadness, as he cried out her name in a hollow howl, over and over, beginning to run again. But then he stopped.
About fifty feet or so, he caught sight of a flash of crimson and gold tangled up in the branches of a tree – a Gryffindor tie. Urging his weary body into a sprint he dashed over, before sinking to his knees as he reached the foot of the tree. To those who might have watched him, Remeus had lifted a bundle of rags gingerly into his lap, like a man might cradle his new-born child; but this was not a moment of joy.
Inert and unmoving lay a pale and ashen faced Emmalena, her breathing weakened and shallow, and her lips tinged with grey. Remeus called out to her softly, stroking her cheeks with his hand. Hoping that she would wake and scold him for worrying about her. Trying to ignore the wetness that slipped from his eyes, he drew out his wand and pointed it at her chest, whispering with a determined and frightened whisper: “Rennervate.”
Never before had he felt so grateful for listening in class as when the flash of red light shot out of the tip of the wand towards her, and Emmalena’s eyes weakly opened, her usual soft cornflower blue hue tinged with a shallow listlessness.
“Hey, Reme,” she whispered weakly, her voice was so faint, anyone else would have missed it, but in that moment Remeus noticed nothing else, even against the wind and rain that had started to fall heavily around them. Mindful that he might hurt her, he gently cradled her upper body in his arms, lifting her as best he could onto his lap in a bid to comfort her.
“Hey Emmi,” he murmured gently, mustering what he hoped was an encouraging smile. Emmalena smiled weakly, her limbs felt oddly heavy but she lifted her hand as best she could to his face, cupping his roughened cheek in her pale fingers. She had always loved his sideburns.
“You’re, you’re crying.” She mumbled, confusion flicking across her gaze. Remeus smiled again, a small choked sob bubbling to the surface as he shook his head.
“No, no I’m not,”
Emmalena smiled sadly in turn. She could tell that there was something he hadn’t told her, hoping that the sluggish feeling she felt was fatigue. Remeus was trembling, cradling her closer. He felt so warm, it would be easy to fall asleep here.
“Hey Emm,” he was speaking louder, almost fiercely, again she forced her eyes open.
“Mmm?” she asked, dimly aware that her voice was fading.
“Please, please don’t fall asleep!” He urged, burying his face close to hers, protectively.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, a weak smile lifting her paler than usual lips.
“For what?” Remeus asked, his own voice cracking with concern. “The polyjuice potion? – Don’t worry about that, I knew about that, everything’s okay.”
Emmalena seemed confused but she nodded wearily. “Didn’t like lying about it,” she murmured drowsily. She was fading fast.
Remeus looked round him frantically, wishing he was only a little stronger so that he could lift her in his arms and run. But, at the same time he was terrified. What if he hurt her? What if there was something wrong he couldn’t yet find? Willing himself to focus his mind he called out desperately into the night: “Help! Somebody please help!”
Emmalena watched him for a moment, her world seemed to be swimming around slightly and her lips felt dry. “Reme-“ she whispered, her voice trailing off slightly. It would be okay, she mused, to herself, to close her eyes just for a moment, knowing that Remeus was there, it would be okay.
Remeus turned his head to look at her, she looked so peaceful in his lap, her head nestled like a doll, with her hair fanning all around her. She wasn’t moving. “Hey, hey,” he whispered, once again lifting his wand to her chest. “Rennervate,” he murmured, “Rennervate,” each time, the sharp red light illuminating her pale, white features, ghostly still in the half moon light.
An involuntary howl left his throat as he cried out again, hoping that someone would come. Hoping that Hagrid and Kay would not be far now, and he would hear their footsteps beat against the ground.
He cried again, louder than he had ever done before, barely able to contain his tears, then whispered as much to the grounds as to his beloved, a heart wrenched, “Please,”
Then the answer came, a deep bellow of the groundskeeper as Hagrid approached the hill. “Remeus?” he called out cautiously, swinging his lantern into the dark. “Is that you down there eh?” But his words escaped him as he saw the sight in front of him of the young Remeus Lupin cradling a seemingly lifeless Emmalena. Quickening his stride he called to an approaching Kayleigh to follow him, who had covered her mouth in shock, the half giant whispering to himself: “My god!”
Remeus’s head was bent down towards his chest, as he looked at Emmalena, his eyes rimmed with tears and red blotches as he stroked her hair in a bid to comfort himself. He barely registered the sight of his friends, and Kayleigh could see he was trembling.
“What’s ‘appened?” Hagrid asked, setting the lantern down with a clatter, instinctively moving closer and shadowing his companions as he looked down at Emmalena. “She’s sleepin, right?”
Remeus looked at his slowly, murmuring. “I don’t know,”
Kay’s face had turned white, the sight was almost too much. Still, knowing that every second counted, she forced out the words: “We need to get her to the hospital wing!”
The boys stared at her, almost as though there were in a trance. She tried again, louder: “Now!”
Instantly getting to his feet Hagrid lifted Emmalena as if she were nothing more than a baby, his wide, beefy arms clutching the unconscious girl closely, as if to share his body warmth. The long baggy, school robes draped down, and Remeus forced his legs to work. Moving protectively closer to Emmalena, he instinctively took her hand, where it had fallen clumsily from the giant’s hold. She was so cold and fragile he was scared she might break. If only, it were a dream, a horrible dream and in a moment he would wake, drenched in relief from his bed.
Thrusting the lantern into Remeus’s arms, Kayleigh lit her wand, urging him to focus, they needed to go on ahead to guide the giant back to the castle.
Uncertainty plagued Remeus for a moment, and as Kay ran on ahead, he turned to the giant, who gave a brief, but determined nod. They would do this, they had too. And so, fighting fatigue he ran. Whispering the vigil to himself and his love with every stride, “Emmalena, please hold on!”
Chapter 6: Chapter 6: Hints of a Prophecy
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Author's Note: Sorry this story took so long to update, I’ve had a number of computer problems, life dramas and illnesses to battle through, but thanks to Kayleigh (yes the same girl as in this lovely story), I have persisted and present to you another chapter of what will be hopefully a return to more updates. Please remember to review, I always look forward to reading what everyone thinks, even after my original story, since this will be deviating a little at times, to what I suggested before – a less teenage filled angst, and more an adult take on her former writings and musings. So, sit back and hopefully you'll enjoy another delve into my rambling mindset ~ Emmalena
Remeus had never liked hospitals. He had tried for a long time to convince himself it was the harsh, cold, unfeeling white that surrounded everything, or the strong uninviting smell of disinfectant and cleaning potions; but in reality, it was the sight of his beloved laying unmoving and inert in the bed.
Had he known more about the properties of time turners, perhaps he might have wondered if they were responsible for the speed in which time shifted all around him. Running to the hospital wing, his feet had seemed to echo with urgency as he called out for the matron’s assistance. Hagrid and Kay had been at his wake, alongside the grumbling and gasps of concern of the portraits of elderly and redeemed witches and wizards who noticed the motionless form of Emmalena, still dangling from the half giant groundskeeper’s arms.
Faster still was the way Madam Pomfrey had appeared at the door. Had she been surprised by the appearance of one of her students dangling as though she were nothing more than a child’s toy, she did not show it, gathering Emmalena out of Hagrid’s arms, and hovering onto a stretcher, with seemingly superhuman ability and bringing her into the unusually quiet ward. Remeus had begun to follow, but with a small, sad smile, Kayleigh had held him back, shaking her head quietly. Thus, the trio had watched as the gurney moved forwards, seemingly further and further away from them, before stopping at a bed, where upon, she seemed to be swallowed up by a thick swath of thick, white curtains, leaving only the appearance of the matron, barely visible to them, casting a shadow with the artificial, clinical light.
Remeus placed his hand on the glass window, watching, like one might watch a shadow puppet show, hoping to catch another glimpse of his beloved, and try to eradicate the image that had burned itself into his mind. She was so pale, so ghostly pale. Why wouldn’t she move? He wanted to scream, to howl, anything, but now his voice had all but left him, replaced with a soft, half choked whimper. What if she didn’t make it?
Now, the time was tormenting him, even had he looked at a clock he would have thought that the minutes seemed to slow, waiting with unwavering vigil for the first acknowledgement on her condition; and the first chance to see her. He barely noticed the appearance of Professor McGonagall, as ever maintaining her cool professionalism and stern gaze, even as she approached the young students in her emerald green cloak. Although, she would not let the group know that she had been awoken rather abruptly from her bed, had they looked closer, they might have seen a tartan green dressing gown, hastily clasped under a dark bottle green cloak, by a single ornate silver brooch.
“Would someone care to explain to me what happened here?!” she asked, glaring at Kayleigh and Hagrid for a moment, and then to Remeus shattering the cold silence that had fallen in the waiting wing. “Taking a restricted book from the library should be ten points each from Gryffindor, brewing potions in the bedrooms, another ten points, sneaking through the grounds late at night, thirty points!” Even though her words were serious, and Kayleigh and Hagrid had begun to protest with urgent pleads, Remeus was not quite sure he fully heard the severity of their punishments, or even his girlfriend’s best friend’s reply. Truth was, he didn’t really care, keeping his gaze fixed on the small round window, his hand still pressed into the thick sheen of glass. Professor McGonagall paused, her gaze wavering for a moment from its blaze of professionalism, to the ward beyond.
“We shall discuss the repercussions of your actions with the headmaster later.” She said almost gently, as the figure of Professor Albus Dumbledore appeared, clad in his ornate purple and burgundy robes. Without even a nod between them, the two professors passed Remeus and had walked into the ward, joining the matron behind the thick white curtain. Silence once more returning to the ward.
Hours seemed to pass; and now Remeus was alone. Despite her objections, he had insisted, in what he could only hope was a convincing manner for his friends to go to bed. It was late, he reminded them firmly; and Kay wouldn’t want to miss any classes in the morning, especially with their no doubt looming exams. She had argued of course, he expected that; although her complaints were natural. Despite the clear fatigue, as she moved, reluctantly towards the corridor, she had given Remeus a hug, insisting that he would tell her as soon as there was news. Hagrid had patted him gently on the back, a move that might have sent him tumbling slightly to the ground, and yet he rooted himself to the floor, his eyes only just registering them through a haze of silent tears, that swam through his vision. Remeus waved them off weakly, forcing a smile as best as it could come, alongside his promise, but his words felt clumsy and fumbling; lacking the usual strength he had found within himself, since Emmalena had entered his life. Now he felt empty. Now he felt numb.
Remeus had never by nature considered himself a religious child. But now, slumping against the door he closed his eyes tight, hastily gathering his hands together as he attempted to pray. “Please, let her live.” He whispered, more to himself. “Please!” – Maybe, he told himself, if he kept like this long enough he would still have time to wake up in bed, away from this prolonged nightmare. But everything was taking too long, everything was far too real. And it hurt.
And then the door opened, snapping his head up, Remeus felt the rush of blood jolt to his head as all his senses darted awake. It was the headmaster. “I believe you should come with me Mr. Lupin.” He said in a grave, but warm manner, offering his hand out to the boy. Remeus attempted to stand without it, mindful and respectful of his elder’s standing, but his feet wobbled slightly, threatening to slam him into the ground. Again, the older wizard made the gesture, this time a little more firmly, helping Remeus to his feet. “Come, come Mr. Lupin, you must come with me!” Shakily Remeus took the headmaster’s hand in his, hoping that he might find some glimmer of hope or knowledge in Dumbledore’s eyes, but it was too much. Without a further word, he crumpled to the ground, briefly welcoming the blackout that comes with much needed sleep.
When he woke it was light. Dazed, Remeus was not quite certain where he was, or even where the light was coming from, though he was certain it was not natural. It had that harsh synthetic glow to it, like the thick strip-lights found in hospitals. The hospital! Bolting upright, he looked around him urgently. If he was here, then Emmalena….
“Mr. Lupin,” you must rest, you’ve suffered a terrible ordeal.” Said a soft, soothing voice next to his bed. Directing his gaze Remeus froze for a moment, looking to the esteemed older wizard as he greeted him.
Although he held nothing but high respect for his headmaster, at present Remeus was not interested in laying back on the soft pile of pillows on which his head had been resting moments before. “But Sir, I’m not tired,” He insisted urgently, scanning the room for his girlfriend. “Emmalena, she- “
“Miss Ellis is receiving the best possible care.” The headmaster affirmed, offering another wisdom filled smile. “But there is much we must discuss.”
For a moment Remeus didn’t hear him. She was receiving care, the words jarred slightly in his mind, recalling all too well how often that phrase was thrown out when people didn’t want to upset the situation further, people who wanted to send their patients; or difficult children they couldn’t cope with away. He needed to see her. Now.
Once again the headmaster spoke, seemingly reading the boy’s mind as he straightened off the bed. “I will take you to her, but first we must speak about a matter of grave importance.”
Remeus felt frustrated, barely containing himself he made to get off the bed once more, “What could be more important to me than seeing her?!” He asked, adding a quick “Sir,” as the headmaster’s eyes gazed at him intently.The older wizard had always reassured him in the past with his soft twinkling smile, but now he saw for a brief moment a tinge of sadness; and so sat himself back on the bed, hoping for an explanation – and yet dreading it as it came.
Albus Dumbledore sighed, he had prepared for this talk for some time, even though he could not have foreseen the exact circumstances; certainly not one that would involve Polyjuice poisoning, and a hint of student rebellion against Potions classes’ protocol, not to mention a few library rules that had been broken along the way. Remeus was a good kid, not to mention an excellent student, when he wasn’t playing round with his friends. Albus knew only too well why he hung round with the sometimes foolish but harmless boys like James Potter and Sirius Black – they gave him a sense of fun, a distraction for the sadness within, the trap of aging long before his years. He could tell the boy was watching him and shook himself inwardly, clearing his throat once more.
“Miss Ellis, that is to say Emmalena,” he added, watching Remeus straighten, “She has been poisoned by the Polyjuice.”
“What?!” Remeus asked urgently, but the headmaster continued, noting the unspoken How on the boy’s lips.
“One of the many risks of Polyjuice potion, is how it will affect the blood stream if it is ingested too early, without the proper means of brewing it.” Dumbledore admitted, this was another detour, though he knew well the boy deserved to know everything, as best he could. Unlike his precessor Armando Dippet, Albus believed it was of vital importance not to baby his students. Children, much like adults had very strong minds, and to flourish and grow they should not be ignored. So, he persisted. “Many witches and wizards have died from such an incident, as the fever and infection grows, so the immune system weakens. Madame Pomfrey has had to send a few samples of her blood to St. Mungo’s in London, however we believe that with no further complications, she should make a full recovery, if she is allowed proper time to heal and rest.” At this he paused, noting the fear growing in the young Lupin’s eyes. “Do you know much about the founding fathers of Hogwarts?”
Bewilderment gathered in Remeus’ eyes, but he answered honestly. He had never known the headmaster to go off on a tangent unless it was connected so swallowing he nodded, answering in a hollow whisper of the bile in his throat. “Yes, yes sir. Professor Binns told us about them in A History of Magic, the four founders of Hogwarts who gathered together to create a school together, combining the strengths and core values of magic; and we give our houses their names. Salazar Slytherin, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Godric Gryffindor.”
“Good,” Dumbledore affirmed, “Very good,” pleased that the boy had paid attention. Very often whilst passing the classroom of the elderly ghost he had seen a number of students, of varying ages curled against the desk in slumber as the History of Magic teacher droned on and on. “You know then that it was Rowena Ravenclaw who devised the name and location of our school after a vision visited her one night, dreaming that a warty hog was leading her to a cliff by the lakes of Scotland. A truly wise woman, it is a pity that she died young, some say of a broken heart.”
Again Remeus nodded, though the older wizard could sense that Remeus was nervously waiting to see his beloved, so he returned to the point. “Emmalena’s blood contained some unusual characteristics, quite unlike that which is seen in most blood tests – but please calm down Mr. Lupin, it is not werewolf blood,” he added, not oblivious to the fact that the students were romantically linked. “It is a rare golden strand, similar to that of raw magic, and we believe that Emmalena may be the reincarnation of Rowena Ravenclaw –“
Everything seemed to be spinning, Remeus felt himself laugh internally. Had anyone else told him this he would have been convinced it was a joke, it had to be, hadn’t it? So many questions buzzed round his head and yet, he determined to be rational. “How sir? Shouldn’t Kayleigh, umm Miss Phillips get tested?” He said making to stand, “After all, she also took the Polyjuice potion; and if it’s infected umm-“
The headmaster smiled shaking his head. “No, Miss Philips should be fine, we confirmed that she had drunk some of young master Hagrid’s pumpkin juice and that killed off whatever poison may or may not have been in his system. As for Miss Ellis however…”
“It’s a Joke!” Remeus stuttered, “It must be, Emmalena’s not the reincarnation of Rowena Ravenclaw, she’s in Gryffindor, she’s English not Scottish, she-“
“Please Mr. Lupin,” Dumbledore said almost gravely. “I appreciate it is a lot to take in, but we are almost entirely certain of this; and if it is true she will need you more than ever.” Remeus’ eyes darkened as he looked to the headmaster with concern allowing Albus to admit his final fears.
“Because whilst legend states that Rowena Ravenclaw died of a broken heart, others believe it was Salazar Slytherin who killed her, and if history is deemed to repeat itself, he may reach out to her again.” He paused again, then smiled trying to lighten the mood. “I regret, there are some things of which I must attend to.” He said, placing a selection of chocolate frogs by the bed and smiled. “Go to her Mr. Lupin, I believe Miss Ellis has a rather sweet tooth.”
And then, before Remeus could ask another word, the headmaster had gone from the room, leaving Remeus alone in the ward, with a collection of chocolate frogs, still wrapped in their beautiful crafted boxes and unanswered questions; but it was only for a moment as he heard a weakened murmur from the bed at the far end of the room, a sound he knew anywhere, that of his beloved Emmalena.
Emmalena wasn’t sure what had woken her, only that she was in pain. Trying to lift herself up from the bed she felt her strength leave her, and slipped back down. The blackness she had felt for so long, threatened to overwhelm her again, but she forced her eyes open, staring up at the pale, uncoloured ceiling above her. “Reme-“ she whispered, her hands felt cold, bitterly cold; what if I’m dead she asked herself, almost closing her eyes again when a warmth began to feed itself through her fingers, turning her head despite the pain she smiled. He was here with her again. She was safe.
“I’m here Emmi,” he affirmed, gently kissing her pale white knuckles, “You gave us all quite a scare.”
A frown creased her forehead, and for a moment she looked down, burrowing her already white face into the matching bundle of sheets and blankets, whispering a slightly embarrassed. “Sorry,”
The young man, frowned for a moment he had never meant to tease her too hard, in fact, he had hoped to make her laugh, Dumbledore’s words still ringing in his head. He had almost lost her. He was about to apologise when Emmalena lifted her head once more, barely concealing her blush on her slightly fever reddened cheeks.
Now, he just wanted to kiss her, looking into her eyes he couldn’t help but notice how fragile she looked. The beautiful cornflower blue was glazed in pain, as she battled with the fever within her body. He hoped the matron was not looming too closely, almost certain that she would chase him back to his bed, or worse out of the ward until the morning’s visiting hours. They talked for a while, admittedly most of it from his part, trying to distract her from the pain and infection she was in, as he held her hound closely to his heart, pulling his chair all the way next to her bed, mindful of the scraping of the metal frame against the floor as Emmalena drifted in and out of consciousness.
How he longed to soothe her of all the pain she now faced. Every once and awhile she would break into a sweat, hyperventilating slightly as she felt the poison within her body, her face draining completely of colour. Then waking up she would cry out wildly and desperately her lips trembling with pain and fear. It was only when he comforted her that she would calm down for a few brief moments and sleep before the traumatising agony began again.
It had not been the first time she had been in the hospital wing, but Remeus hated seeing her here, so helpless, so frail, her very veins sticking out of her arms as though her body might snap. Even though he was not sure that she always heard him he stayed with her, interlacing their fingers with a vow of protection, murmuring as much to the girl in the bed as to himself. “I love you Emmi, always.”
And despite the anguish that gripped him and squeezed his heart like a vice he couldn’t help but smile as she smiled back at him murmuring her own promise.
“I will always love you Remeus John Lupin.”
It was four in the morning when Albus Dumbledore passed by the door. He had insisted to the matron to leave the young couple together, insisting that they were happier together, providing each other much needed strength and unity, even as they curled subconsciously into each other’s arms. For the first time, he hoped he was wrong, and that Emmalena was not the reincarnation of Rowena Ravenclaw, knowing full well her death had not been painless at the hand of the snake house founder’s sword. Because neither Remeus or Emmalena, could really know, as it is in any tale of tragedy.
They were running out of time.
Chapter 7: Chapter 7: Figures and Night Terrors
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Although it can be easily said that magic can offer advantages towards the general health of the wizarding world, it was a painful wait for Remeus all the same as he paced back and forth in the hospital wing corridors, anxious for the matron to allow Emmalena out for her daily walk. Try as he might to ignore the pangs of nervousness, he had been eager to spend some time alone with his girlfriend, without the restrictions and visiting times of the ward; noticing the sadness in her eyes as he left to go to classes; and the way her nose slightly crinkled at the smell of healing potions and disinfectants. He knew she was lonely and itching to study, in a way that he always found endearing – Emmalena was an avid reader and had not been fond of the early curfews imposed on her, forbidding her from her complete scholarly experience, with lumos shining clearly through the snow-white bedding, even as she attempted to submerge herself under the quilt and comforter.
Still progress was being made; and she was gradually able to walk again for short distances and to start sitting up in bed for longer periods of time so that she could go over the day’s lessons; as long, as she was not left unaccommodated for too long – at least until her legs fully adjusted to the ground again. Remeus had told her in depth, as best he could what Dumbledore had told him regarding her past self; and been vigilant in attending the library to seek out more about Rowena Ravenclaw and the so-called prophecies. The problem was: out of all the house founders, the founder of the school of wisdom was the less known about than the others, especially her later years which seemed largely shrouded in mystery. That and the dreams had started. – However, dreams were the wrong word.
Nightmares and visions had begun plaguing the young witch, though Emmalena had no previous ties to divination. She had described in detail a man dressed all in black, his hands out stretched like poisonous vines towards her from the folds of his cloak making her want to scream. Remeus had insisted she keep a diary to record any words or phrases that came to mind, though he assured her it was the after-effects of the Polyjuice rather than the musings of their teacher, he remained deeply troubled.
Raking a hand through his hair nervously, Remeus sighed turning back to the door, ‘what was taking them so long?’ he wondered, hoping that it was merely a lecture on the part of Madam Pomfrey about how Emmalena would be better off with a cloak on, rather than face a certain chill; or that she ought to wear slippers, to pad around the halls so that her feet wouldn’t wear out. The matron was a typical mother-hen, mindful and fearful of most things that could scupper a patience’s recovery; although the young Lupin mused that she might also enjoy having a ‘project’ or charge in her care, despite her protestations otherwise.
Finally the door opened; out stepped Emmalena, gingerly propping herself up against the door, her long brown hair tumbling down in waves over her shoulders where it had not been completely brushed. Seeing him there, her face flushed in apology and she murmured gently. “Hey Reme, sorry I took so long,” and gratefully accepted his steading hand.
He smiled, “It’s ok Emmi, I only hope you are feeling a little brighter today.” Emmalena nodded, though she seemed a tad distracted, causing his smile to falter a little. “Something wrong?” And then when she didn’t reply. “Emm?”
“Sorry, sorry,” she whispered, blinking and looking-into his worried chocolate eyes. “I’m so sorry,” she spoke quickly, her voice quaking slightly, it was then he noticed she had been crying.
“Emmi, what’s wrong?” He gently cupped her chin in his hands and stroked her soft brown hair from the beautiful cornflower blue eyes he loved. “You can tell me anything you know.”
Again she nodded, then taking a nervous breath she replied. “What if Dumbledore’s words were true? What if I am destined to die?”
Remeus’ frown deepened., cutting her off as kindly as he could, he planted a small kiss on his girlfriend’s lips and whispered back. “I won’t let anyone harm you!” She smiled again and lifted herself onto tiptoe to kiss him, instantly at ease with him once more when the voice came.
“Touching, very touching, it’s a shame something’s going to happen to her!” Turning sharply, Remeus withdrew his wand from his cloak, holding it forward, whilst protectively drawing her closer into his arms. Before them was a shadowy figure, his eyes malevolent and soulless, like he had been consumed by dark magic. Remeus knew with abject certain he had never seen this man before. “I mean,” the figure continued, stepping forward again calmly, “It’s not like she has a choice.”
“Who are you?! What do you want?!” Remeus asked sharply, stepping back in turn as he had practiced in duelling class, instinctively keeping his eyes straight ahead whilst Emmalena shivered in his arms.
The figure didn’t immediately answer, instead it smiled a strange, insincere smile. “I suppose you will know of me soon enough. I am the heir of Salazar Slytherin, which makes that…” he pointed at Emmalena who instantly trembled reaching for her own wand. “My property.”
Remeus growled, his inner wolf instantly protective. “Over my dead body!”
Again, the figure grinned, “That can be arranged!” With a snap of his figures, as though using wandless magic, Remeus watched in horror as both his and Emmalena’s wands flew through the air into the outstretched pale hand. Then lifting his own wand towards the couple he cried out “Crucio!”
Pain like none other instantly flooded Remeus’s body, causing him to sink to his knees in pain. A choked sob escaped Emmalena’s throat as the figure came closer to her, “I guess now I’ll just take what’s mine then!”
“No!” Remeus replied, he had wanted to shout but he wasn’t sure if anyone would hear. “Don’t you dare!” But he could only watch as the figure stepped towards Emmalena who was gasping for breath beside Remeus, too weak to stand. Remeus wanted only to go to her, yet at that moment there was no strength in him at all, so he used his words. “Let her go! She isn’t yours!”
The figure grinned, stroking one wisp of Emmalena’s hair before looking deep into his eyes with his own hollow rims of black. “For I am the heir of Slytherin, I am the immortal, I am Voldemort!”
“Remeus?!, Moony! Moony snap out of it come on!”
Remeus awoke with a start in a dimly lit room and very wet, panting heavily. As his eyes adjusted to the light he could tell he was back in his dorm, where Sirius and James were stood over his bed with a jug of what was presumably water.
“What was that for?!” He asked coldly, looking around him and to his two friends immediately in front of him, whilst Peter had withdrawn a little and was watching by their bedroom door muttering slightly with nerves that they might be caught. “It’s late right?!”
Sirius nodded, flopping uninvited onto the quilt bedding as James explained: “Yes, it’s late, but you were having a bad dream again and we needed to wake you.”
Remeus felt dazed, slowly he murmured. “Dream?”
“Night terrors, horrible frightening stuffs.” Affirmed Peter, before hastily looking at the door again. “We didn’t want to wake the school.”
“Yeah,” added Sirius grimly, “We couldn’t wake you either.”
Despite the situation the young Lupin smiled. “Hey, it’s not like you to be so studious!” Remeus said, swatting each of his friend’s playfully on the shoulder.
“We’re not,” James replied folding his arms, “But you looked like you’d seen a ghost.”
Remeus shook his head. “No, not at all, it was probably nothing. Just stuff I’m mulling over, exams you know that sort of thing.” He only hoped he sounded convincing.
Out of their group of friends, with the exception of Peter, Remeus had always been the worst liar. A trait Professor McGonagall had termed “redeeming” given the crowd he hung round with, but even so he was a loyal friend; and he hoped that they would not question it as he shifted Sirius off his bed casually as he turned toward his pillow. “Come on guys, we need to get some sleep.”
As usual Peter needed no further instruction, all too happily had he sprung away from the doorway, moving towards his bed with the cheerful movements of a boy on Christmas morning. Then James moved, having checked Remeus was okay he strolled over to his bed in turn, smiling a charismatic and satisfied smile, and upon a practiced nod turned off the light by the bed leaving the room once more in darkness save for the pale starlight that streamed through the window.
Now only Sirius was left. “You sure you’re alright Moony?” he asked, his eyes piercing through the dark. Out of all the boys, Padfoot had known him the longest, and had become his first and finest friend after Emmalena on the train.
Remeus smiled a little, of course Sirius would be the most concerned. “Yeah Bud, just too much Butterbeer you know?”
Sirius shook his head, “Come on man, what’s happened? You’ve’ been tossing and turning for weeks now.”
“No, no,” Remeus replied, perhaps a little too quickly. “That was years ago, I’ve got the hang of my transformations now.”
Sirius sighed. “I know, but this different, you keep crying out for Emmalena.” Remeus stilled, wondering how much his friend had heard; he began to go over the thoughts in his head frowning as he thought back to the recurring dreams of tall, shadowy figures and Emmalena screaming in pain. Of the books about Rowena Ravenclaw and the voice from the heir of Slytherin “Man, you’re doing all you can for her, you’re gonna wear yourself out.”
Remeus relaxed, so Sirius hadn’t heard at least not everything and he nodded as his best friend continued. “She’ll be back to class soon, after all Emmalena would never miss the Yule Ball.”
He nodded, “You’re right, right of course.” He replied, flopping back on to the bed. “She wouldn’t miss that.”
Maybe it was because it was three in the morning or he was just very tired but their conversation began to wear thin, and Remeus closed his eyes hopeful of dreams of the dance and of Emmalena coming towards to him bathed in a dress of moonbeans and moonlight; when his eyes snapped open again.
The Heir of Slytherin was after Emmalena, which meant, no! Instantly he leapt out of bed, ignoring the confused protestations of his friends and headed straight for the castle in determined motions. Everything was now crystal clear.
It wasn’t Emmalena who was having visions and nightmares; it was him; in all his dreams the ball was due to take place in a fortnight, which meant that something bad was about to happen. And if he was right then the girl he loved was in grave danger. He needed to get to Dumbledore now and then the hospital wing, no matter what the hour was. He wouldn’t allow her to die!
Chapter 8: Chapter 8: Sherbets and Sleep Deprivation
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At 3:05 in the morning a cold wind swept through the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, characteristically an odd occurrence for the summer months; and yet unnoticed by most young witches and wizards who lay sleeping in their beds.
That said, it was not ignored by Professor Albus Dumbledore, who sat grimly at his desk deep in thought, his eyes gently questioning the pacing of Remeus Lupin who had moments before all but burst into the headmaster’s office in the time it would take a muggle to boil a cup of tea.
“Mr. Lupin,” he said gently, in an almost fatherly manner. “Remeus, tell me again what you saw.”
But the young wizard barely noticed him. Instead, he turned his head, with tear stricken eyes and replied shallowly. “Someone wants Emmalena dead.”
Dumbledore sighed inwardly. It was not that he did not believe his student, but rather that it seemed that the nature of events in which they had only begun to grasp, were unravelling faster than he had control, like a ball of twine that slips free from the knitting basket and begins to tangle and writhe as a thousand dislocated strings. “Remues-“ he began only for the student to cut him off.
“I don’t suffer from recurring dreams!” before noticing his bluntness he added a hasty. “Professor.”
The headmaster again nodded, part of him considered using Legilimency, although it had long been a process he disapproved of, especially having noted much of its effects in the darkened times of the wizarding war. There were memories too he would strive to forget. So instead, he nodded and took a sherbet lemon from his cloak, chewing the sharpened sweet as he processed his thoughts.
“Remeus, have you voiced your concerns with Miss Ellis.”
This time it was Remeus who looked away. “No sir, I came straight here.”
“Good, good,” Dumbledore mused, “It would be wise not to hamper her recovery. Let’s focus for now on having her back on her feet.”
The younger wizard said nothing, barely supressing a sigh, as he looked down for a moment, trying to focus his mind a moment.
That said, he was not prone to keeping secrets where possible and considered himself a poor liar. With a low tone he asked softly.
“Will Emmalena be able to attend the Yule Ball?” despite himself he felt warm and fidgety, having long looked forward to the elegant gown that he had slightly glimpsed from his girlfriend when a rather accident-prone owl had delivered to her one morning, the paper wrapping slightly in the corners from where it had hunched in the bird’s talons.
This time Dumbledore smiled, leaning back slightly in his chair. “I’m sure she will my boy, she has made great strides the past few weeks.”
Remeus did not reply again, it seemed unwise to burden the professor for now, nervously he stood, attempting to straighten his back and his resolve as he headed to the door. “Thank you, Professor.”
Dumbledore frowned, as he watched the young man go, the bleakness in his eyes reminding him so much of his own supressed darkness. With so much pain and suffering already in the world he only hoped he could keep them all safe. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Professor McGonagall, strolling past the window in her usual distinct tabby cat form, no doubt waiting to make her presence known. For now he would now he would finish his sherbet lemon and consult his pensive, if only to make sense of the swirling thoughts that seemed once more to plague him.
For what seemed the fifth time of the week, the sound of heavy panicked footsteps rung outside the Hospital Wing, nevertheless, the matron’s familiar unempathetic face greeted Remeus as he knocked on the door.
“Mr. Lupin,” she asked with slightly pursed lips moving into the corridor away, “Need I remind you that the Hospital Wing is closed until the morning?!”
A small blush crept onto the boy’s face as he nodded, stammering a little. “Yes Mam, but I need to see Emmalena, you see – “
“I’m sure it can wait ‘till morning.” She replied curtly, “My patients are trying to sleep…”
“Actually, I’m awake.” Came a small voice, cutting her off in surprise; Madam Pomfrey and Remeus turned to notice Emmalena, clutching onto the door for slight support, her frame dwarfed by the white nightgown and slippers, ghosting in the summer half moonlight.
For a moment, he couldn’t speak, gazing in awe at the way her mousy brown hair trailed in natural bed-laiden curls over her doe like cornflower blue eyes. She looked beautiful.
Forcing himself to speak, he moved over to her, embracing his girlfriend in a tight hug. “You look beautiful.” He whispered gently into her ear, smiling as she tilted her head as his breath tickled her.
“Thank you,” Emmalena smiled, gently kissing him on the cheek and turning to the matron, her eyes slightly pleading.
The matron’s eyes softened slightly, Emmalena had been one of those girls who despite herself had always ended up in the hospital wing, despite her best efforts for various ailments. She nodded heading to the door. “I’ll give you a moment.” She said briskly, determined to recover her dignity. Pomfrey didn’t keep favourites.
Once the matron had disappeared, Remeus helped steady his still weakened girlfriend to the benches in the hallway, trying to replace the still clear-cut visions of his nightmares and the torturous wait when he had found her almost dead at the lake. She lent into his weight easily like a doll, allowing him to guide them down gracefully, leaning one hand onto his face as she traced his jawline with her silky fingers.
“Remeus,” she whispered gently, “What’s wrong?” She had seen the pain in his eyes. Remeus looked away.
“Nothing,” he murmured softly, stroking her hair in his fingers. The full moon would be upon them soon, a time he dreaded, the time he wasn’t able to protect her. “Just thinking about the Yule Ball.”
Emmalena smiled, “It’ll be fun,” she affirmed, squeezing his hand gently as their fingers entwined. “I’ve been getting stronger for it.” Remeus nodded; turning to her and smiling.
“You always look beautiful.” He whispered, smiling as he best he could, the moment had passed. “It’s my dressrobes I’m worried about.”
Emmalena pouted, “But Reme you’re an incredibly handsome man!”
Remeus smiled with pride, his heart bursting with pride as he thought of her twirling elegantly in his arms against his dowdy second-hand garments. Despite how little compared to her he had, for Emmalena, Remeus would give anything.
Whilst he was frugal with his money, saving most of his money where he could for school supplies, Remeus had spent a little extra a few months ago, a secret kept in the folds of his pocket in a little leather box, waiting. Brushing her hair from her eyes he kissed her on the nose. “I’m just glad you’re mine.” He admitted, as she gazed up at him, he would have to tell her.
“Sweetheart, there is something,” he said, slightly cautiously; avoiding eye contact for a moment. Emmalena made no sound, giving him the confidence to continue, swallowing him he rapidly blurted out. “I think someone wants to hurt you!”
Emmalena again said nothing, turning he found her head laying on his shoulder, lost to her dreamland. Remeus sighed again, lifting her again as best he could with a strength that surprised him. Perhaps, he mused inwardly that he was getting stronger; willing himself to believe that Emmalena was getting weaker. “Oh Emm,” he whispered again, laying her down back in the small cot like bed in the ward and kissing her on the cheek, trying to ignore the tears that escaped his eyes.
The Yule Ball was looming closer; and still he was no closer to knowing how to protect her, he felt helpless.
Wiping the tears hastily, he made to go but Emmalena turned, weakly gripping his coat in her hand, as though sensing his insecurity in her sleep. Such was the power of their bond.
“Reme, don’t leave me!” she murmured in her sleep, her voice fragile like china.
Remeus did not reply, instead kissing her pale thin knuckles and cradling her hand in turn as he took it gently from his robes. “I’m not going anywhere sweetheart,” he whispered, the tears still dripping down his nose, despite his best efforts.
He only hoped he could keep her safe. Forever.
All the while, in the shadows of the darkened room someone was watching.