I've generated a casting list to make all the OCs click better. Characters from the movie have the same actors playing them. ;)
Claire Potter -- Reese Witherspoon
James Potter -- Christian Bale
Ethan Courtenay -- Milo Ventimelgia
Mary Jane Swithford -- Kirsten Dunst
Lily Evans -- Cate Blanchett
Carter Hewlett -- Josh Lucas
Character: Remus Lupin
Chapter Graphic by Jeanie at The Dark Arts
Major thanks to Alicia, Tinkerbell01, for beta'ing this chapter!
His alarm clock buzzed at 6:43 that morning. Just like it did every morning.
He set his alarm with just enough time to shower, dress, gather his things, and sit down for breakfast like his father demanded of him every day before leaving for school. Sleep was precious to him, and receiving quite the workload from his professors, he didn't have time to waste. His A Levels were approaching and his mother was pressuring the importance of continuing onto University, despite his protests and refusal to go when the time came.
His new motto? Every second mattered.
The shrill, vexatious sound erupted through his bedroom, and he slumped over to cease the ringing, only to shove the clock onto the floor. It hit the wooden floor with a loud clatter. He cursed and jumped from the bed, gathering the clock in his arms and shutting it off. Setting it down, Harry sat on his bed.
He shivered slightly and rubbed his brow, having gained a head rush from rising so quickly. He murmured nonsense under his breath.
Harry showered and changed quickly. He threw his books into his bag and rushed down the stairs, shaking water from his hair.
Like any other morning, his parents were sitting at the kitchen table. His father was reading the morning news, and his mother paused mid-way with her tea, her pinky finger pointed mannerly. Harry smiled at his parents and swooped down to give his mother's head a kiss. He smoothed back her blond curls. She jumped with a laugh. "Oh, sweetheart, don't please. You'll mess up my hair."
"Because that's all you care about, Mum," Harry smiled with sarcastic laughter. He sat between his parents and grabbed a piece of toast from the platter. He buttered it diligently.
Claire Potter's thin lips curved up into her crooked smile. She brushed back Harry's stray hairs from his eyes. Phone ringing, Claire rose to take her mobile phone from her purse. She answered, head inclined with a sour look across her face. "But you said the Prime Minister wouldn't arrive until eight?...It's seven o'clock!...Yes, I will be in shortly."
She hung up and dropped her phone back into her purse, already in mid-sentence. "I'm sorry. I have to go."
His father's fork clattered. Harry's head shot towards James. James Potter's hazel eyes were sad and distraught. He said quietly as Claire came around to him. "But, darling, you said you wouldn't have to go until eight."
"I'm sorry, James. I thought so too," Claire said sadly as bent down to kiss her husband. Their lips met briefly and James turned away from her as she straightened up. She sighed, displeased, and ran her fingers through his unruly hair. Claire's pale, narrow face pulled down into a frown. She ran a long, fine-boned finger over his jaw. "James, please. I'm sorry."
"This is important to me. I like to see your face before you disappear off to work," protested James.
His protest was too late though; Claire was already exiting the kitchen. James sighed and picked up his fork again. Harry eyed his father intensely. Subtly, he turned back towards his breakfast.
It wasn't unusual for his father to pitch a fit when either he or his mother couldn't make it to a meal. For a reason Harry did not yet understand, James was particular about his family attending meals and spending the proper amount of time together. Harry wasn't allowed to flee from the house without a word, disappearing from mind, and nor was he allowed to skip a meal with his father.
Harry eyed his father's displeased expression. "She will be home for dinner, Dad."
"Maybe," James sighed, rising with his plate in his hands. He took it to the sink and rinsed it off before placing it in the dishwasher. He slowly walked back to the table, watching his son eat his breakfast. James smiled gently and kissed his son's head, rumpling his raven hair affectionately. "To each his own though, right? I like to have you here. For everything."
Harry nodded under his dad's touch and cleaned up his mess after shoveling the last bits of food into his mouth. "I get it, but take a deep breath, Dad. No one's going anywhere."
James sighed and leaned against the door frame as he watched his son hurry from the kitchen and down the hall. Harry called back to his father as he exited. "See you after school!"
Harry closed the door behind himself and hurried down the sidewalk.
The morning was bright, crisp. There was a freshness about it that Harry couldn't quite place. He breathed in the sweet, heavy scent of rain and his mother's garden. The sun was shining, and the sky was crystal clear, not a cloud in sight. The birds chirped, pecking at the trees and ground for their breakfast and retreating back to their nests with happy songs.
Harry smiled and inhaled. He breathed heavily before strolling down the street and to the corner. His friend, Ethan Courtenay, was dancing around impatiently at the crosswalk with his girl friend, Mary Swithford. Harry clapped his friend on the back. "Ethan, Mary. Good morning. How are you?"
"Fantastic," Ethan said in a breezy voice. His fingers interlocked with Mary's as the three strolled down the street and their feet splashed in the puddles of fresh rain. "Mary here called me early this morning. We've been out in the rain since. It's a shame it's cleared up. You should have joined us."
Harry knew the adoring couple liked rain. Many people did. For an unexplained reason to Harry, they liked to stroll in it, sing and shout in it, or even contemplate their lives over in it. Harry, however, despised it.
Well, despise was a rather harsh word. Harry didn't despise it. He disliked it. Whenever Harry found himself caught in the midst of a storm, or even light rain shower, Harry always found himself running over his life and questioning all the secrecy he knew was within his household, and sometimes questioning Harry's own sanity.
"No," Harry chuckled. He could only imagine his best mate Ethan, with his divine brown curls and piercing blue eyes, kissing the beautiful Mary. "I'm glad I didn't. I'm sure you weren't laughing and splashing around like five-year-olds."
Mary giggled. One of her pale, delicate hands covered her mouth with a snicker. "Well, we did a little. After."
"Mary..." Ethan scoffed. Despite the harsh look on his face, he draped an arm around her body and drew her in closely, kissing her brow. Harry laughed and pointed. "Exactly. See, I'm glad I passed."
"You're sour this morning, Harry," said Mary from beneath Ethan's crushing embrace. She shoved him off with a grunt. "Did your dad throw a fit again? Did Claire leave?"
"You must be able to read minds, Mary. That's exactly it," huffed Harry. He gritted his teeth. "I don't get his issues. I'm always home. Mum is almost always home. She's been faltering lately. I guess it could explain why Dad's a little put out."
"Well, you know," Ethan shrugged as they casually crossed the street and into a small coffee shop where Ethan and Mary could grab breakfast. Ethan said their order nonchalantly and continued on with Harry. "Everyone has their priorities. Some things are higher for one person than they are for another. Hell, family is the last on my father's. It's work, work, work for my parents."
"Mine too," Mary agreed. She shuffled back and forth on her feet, bored.
They received their food and sat down casually in their normal corner. Harry put his feet up on the coffee table, stretching out on the couch. "I just don't like it, you know? It's...It's like he's got this dark past where he made some huge mistake and had a change of heart, if you will."
"I get what you mean," said Mary subtly as she sipped at her juice. "But you will never know if you never get over your fear of asking him."
"Yeah, yeah," Harry sighed, and he snagged Ethan's biscuit. Ethan yelped and groped at the air. Harry snorted and shoved it into his mouth, chewing in an all-mighty manner. He laughed and pointed at Ethan's distressed face. "You're funny. Come on, guys. We'll be late."
"You owe me breakfast," glowered Ethan.
"All right, I will buy you breakfast tomorrow."
"We don't have school tomorrow."
"Yes. Monday," Ethan agreed.
Harry laughed and smiled as they made their way down the street again. He looked to his smiling friends. Everything had been the same for a while. It was the same life over and over again. A dull life. But when he looked at his friends, the friends he loved...
He loved his life. And he wouldn't trade it for anything.
"I'm tired of risking everything. I'm tired of lying to him. Of everything. Everything," James sighed heavily to her in the kitchen. He held her tightly in his lap and had his head buried into her neck. He breathed in her sweet scent and found himself lost in her. "His whole life has been a lie, and I can't bear it."
"It hurts me too, love," she whispered kindly. She brushed his shaggy hair out of his eyes and turned his neck sweetly. Her lips swung down to stroll across his neck. She let her hot breath run over his collar bone, all over him. He grunted underneath her and swallowed. She ignored his gasping, knowing she could work wonders on him. "Please, darling. We don't have much time together. We take what little we can."
"But just thinking of it makes everything so hard," James grunted, rubbing his head in distress. He pried her body off of his and set her down in the chair to stride about the kitchen. "I'm tired of lying to him. Lying to Claire. I'm tired of going behind their back..."
"Well, you can't go in front of their back either, James," she argued. She rose and walked to him, front and center. Her finger was pointed at him like a daring threat. Her eyes curved together seductively, drawing together her hiss. "Not now. Not after everything we've done. You - don't - ruin - this."
"I wasn't going to," muttered James, and he turned to her. He clasped her menacing hands together and brought them to his lips. He kissed each of the knuckles, each tip of the finger. He whispered into them. "It's worth it. Anything is to keep him safe and to stay with you."
His arms enveloped around her, washing over her like a wave from the ocean. She melted against him as if dripping wax from a candle. And all was needed was a satisfied groan.
She toyed with the button of his shirt. "You're so different now, James. Everything has changed you so much. Where is my joking Prongs? Where has he gone?"
"He's gone," James murmured into her hair, doing his best to remain of happy cheer. He smoothed back her silky, enticing waves of hair. "He left a long time ago. He went away from danger, away from his wand, away from the truth, away from magic."
"Away from me?" she asked feebly.
"No," James whispered. His lips traced over her ear, and he kissed it gently. His lips kissed a concupiscent trail along her jaw, her collar bone, her long, thin neck. "Never away from you. Never you."
He touched her chest gently, his hand resting over her heart, and he listened carefully to each beat. He sighed and waited until the sound of their heart beats melted together, until they sounded like nothing more than one heart, one body, one soul. "I can only move closer and closer to you."
Her round lips tugged up into a generous smile. She touched his cheek and pressed herself to him. She wanted to feel James closely, every inch of him against her. She pressed until James caught her meaning and held her to him, holding on as if for dear life. And then, when their eyes caught and they fell into their deep ocean of love, James took her shoulder and pressed her against the wall of the kitchen.
He kissed her neck first, and then moved up and up to her lips. There, he kissed her deeply and drank in every ounce of her he could possibly receive. He kissed her deeper and deeper until she was gasping for breath, pushing against his dismissive chest. He grabbed her hips, lascivious and yet gentle, and lifted her into the back window sill.
James yanked the drapes closed as her legs wrapped lovingly around him. He moved to her neck, kissing her hotly. She gasped and scratched at his arms. They were suddenly quick and vehement in their doing.
He kissed her once more, cupping her head in his large hands like it was a diamond itself, and they did what she had come every morning for years to do. In their doing, James' heedless hands knocked the pictures out of the way, and he grabbed on for support. Something crunched
under his feet. He didn't even bother to look down at the broken picture of Claire.
James was leaning against the wall of his bathroom hours later, his arms folded in acrimony across his chest. His nose was wrinkled in his thoughts, but his adoration for the woman before him possessed him more greatly. He watched her relaxing in the bath. She stood, and dripping wet, she came to embrace him.
As she leaned back absently and rested against his chest, she turned in his arms and whispered, "I just don't understand why things have to be like this."
"You know perfectly well why they must, my love," soothed James. He stroked her damp waves and kissed them. She didn't smell like her sweet scent of honey and flowers anymore. She smelt of him. He kissed her neck once. Twice. Three times. Until she pulled away and gave him a half-smile. "I love you, sweetheart."
"I love you too, Lily," James murmured. "I wish we could have gotten the proper life we wanted."
"Remus," Cory Parshall snapped. "Will you not look at me?"
"Oh," Remus Lupin murmured. "I'm sorry." He turned his attention away from the football field, away from the college football team. Remus placed his feet on the bleachers and let his elbows rest against his knees. He kept a keen eye on one particular raven haired boy as he turned his head towards Cory. "I'm listening."
Cory, however, had also lost his train of thought. His line of sight had fallen on the boy Remus was watching. Cory rubbed his chin, inspecting. "He's a great boy, Professor Lupin. Talented. He's strong, quick-witted, fast. No one can catch him."
Remus watched the raven haired boy kick the ball away from the shirts-team. The boy raced down the field, losing those on his tail, and scored the next point of their scrimmage. "I know he is. I always thought he'd be better at baseball..."
His thoughts went to James. To Quidditch.
"Poor kid though," Cory shook his head.
Remus eyed Cory, his fellow co-worker. Occasionally, professors at the college could gather to inspect the progress of the college's sports. Remus always dropped by to watch the football team. Today, Cory had joined him. Remus pushed back his matted, brown hair. "Why is he that, Professor Parshall?"
"I hear the boy's mum, that Claire Potter, is having an affair with the Prime Minster's best man, and that his father is having an affair too."
Remus turned away from him, idle and extremely cognizant of everything around him. Everything about Harry Potter.
Harry's voice threw Remus into his on-aware's. His ears perked and he strained to listen. Harry's voice was full of booming laughter. "Ethan! How about ice cream? I could use something sweet."
Remus sighed inwardly. He just wants ice cream.
Ethan, shirts-team and standing at the other end of the field, was fuming. He wiped his face of sweat with his shirt and mumbled under his breath. Remus chuckled as he watched the boy. Ethan jerked his head in a nod. "All right...You bloody speeding, unstoppable bullet."
Harry laughed and jumped, grabbing his bag and jacket from the bleachers as their coach dismissed them. As Harry walked off the field, Remus jumped to his feet. Cory quickly snatched his stuff and followed Remus with a stumble. "You're in a hurry."
"I'm sorry," Remus apologized quickly. "I suddenly remembered I must make dinner for my wife tonight."
That was a lie.
He wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere at all. He didn't have to make dinner. He didn't even have a wife. He had dedicated his life to being a protector.
Cory shrugged and followed along. The two boys were many yards ahead of them, talking happily. At the corner, Remus parted ways with Cory, and Remus began to saunter back. He took on the stealthy mode in which he had been trained in. He walked as just another passerby, his head hung low to the ground. Remus walked and walked, keeping just far enough away to stay in hearing range.
While Ethan and Harry waited outside an ice cream parlor, Remus absorbed himself in window shopping at the bookstore across the street. He picked up an abandoned magazine and shuffled through it, his eyes glancing up to the door of the ice cream parlor with the ringing bell when Mary pounced excitedly into view. For the next fifteen minutes, Remus leaned against the wall of the book store, reading casually, his eyes flickering occasionally to the trio sitting in the parlor window.
Eventually, they came out and headed down the street again.
Soon enough, Ethan and Mary bid good-bye to Harry and he was on his own. Harry walked solemnly with his hands in his pockets, his head bent low as to mind his steps on the white pavement. Remus walked silently, briskly, creating his own agenda as he followed. He had become a chameleon. He had been trained this way, and after nearly eighteen years of practicing it, he had entered perfection.
Remus caught sight of a man across the street in wizarding robes. Remus bit the inside of his cheek and looked down, excusing himself when he bumped shoulders with the man. The man muttered an apology and raced on towards Harry.
Remus was too fast.
He sprang forward, at the ready like a watching cat, and grabbed the man's robes. Yelping quickly, the man was drug along into an alleyway. Remus shoved him against the dark corridor and spat in the spy's face. "Who are you working for?"
The man swallowed, his face hidden beneath the black hood. He remained silent. The only sound was his rattled breathing and Remus' uneasy panting. Remus hissed again. The sun was beginning to set and it was the perfect angle to hide them from view. Remus yanked out his wand and held it to his throat. "I said who hired you!"
A harsh grumble of laughter raised in his throat. Remus let a growl rise in his throat, and he murmured under his breath. "Stupefy. Obliviate.
The man slumped to the ground in a heap, unconscious. Remus rubbed his mouth in annoyance and jumped from the alleyway, leaving the spy to wallow in his questions once he awoke.
Remus kept his head held down, acting as if coming from the alleyway was a part of his daily routine. He nodded with a brief smile to passersby and continued on his way.
Harry was slightly out of sight, having involuntarily gained extra ground from Remus' slight encounter. Remus lifted his head as they passed the park. And there, sitting as scheduled, Remus nodded to his partner.
A man with shaggy, cropped brown hair sat on a swing, rocking back and forth while humming. He nodded curtly. In this world, they were nothing more than strangers to each other. "Remus."
Remus smiled kindly to him and went on his way.
They had finally reached sight of the Potter's home.
There, a ways down the street, a recognizable woman was making their way towards him. Remus held the smile from his face. Again, no one in this world could be nothing more to him than a stranger. Remus gave a brusque nod to the beautiful woman and touched her hand gently as they passed. She whipped her head over her shoulder and gave a harsh and cryptic frown. She mouthed a "not here," and was on her way once more, down the street, out of sight, out of mind.
Remus looked to his partner, shaking his head in disapproval. Sirius Black mouthed. "Too dangerous."
She was nothing more than a friend he could no longer know. Only from a distance. Just like everyone else.