Chapter 1 : Blame it on the Moon
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I. November 9, 1965
John Lupin stepped outside and sighed as he surveyed the bright sky. It was terribly bright for being evening, the kind of bright that can only be experienced for a few nights each month. The kind of bright that casts an eerie white light upon the dark ground, so that one can easily see nearly everything around him. John had come to learn how strange it was to be able to walk through the darkness without even needing to light his wand; it was the sort of thing he had never paid any attention to before.
(Then again, he never had reason to stand around outside during the full moon before, either.)
John looked up at the sky nervously. His cabin was surrounded by trees and he couldn’t see the horizon. It was dark, though, and he knew the moon would be rising shortly. Then everything would be even brighter once it shined down upon the earth with its mild glow.
He wanted to scream at it, to tell it to go away, to not bother coming this month. Of course, he knew that would never make a difference, and so he sat silent, dreading it.
Brown eyes flicked towards the new shed he’d built. He’d spent the entire month on it, ever since learning Remus was bitten by a werewolf. He hated it. He hated that he had to build it. It was his fault, after all, that Remus was infected. As a punishment, he’d build the shed by hand and not by magic.
(Or, perhaps, he’d built by hand to keep his mind off of the terrible thing that had happened to his child.)
He couldn’t believe that tonight Remus would turn into one of the very creatures he hunted. As a hunter for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, he’d been after werewolves before. He’d been after nearly every kind of dark or dangerous creature that existed.
Last month he’d gone after notorious werewolf Fenrir Greyback. He was unsuccessful, but he never thought that Greyback had been on to him. He never thought that Greyback knew who he was, would take offence and go so far as to get revenge.
But he knew now, now that it was too late.
Tonight would be Remus’s first night as a werewolf. John knew it was going to be the longest night of both of their lives.
Remus sat in the shed, alone in the dark. It was protected with magical spells, reinforcing the structure so that his son couldn’t tear it apart and escape. It broke John’s heart, for he could hear, slightly, just over the chirping crickets and hooting owls, Remus’s frightened sobs.
No five year old should ever have to go through such a thing, thought John with desperation. He settled on the steps of his front porch, chews his thumbnail nervously as he waited. His gaze flickered between the small shed and the tree line.
How he longed to go into the small building, rip open the door and hold his sobbing son in his arms. To tell him that it was all a nightmare, that it would be all right, and none of it had ever really happened at all. How he longed to carry young Remus to his warm bed, kiss him goodnight and know that he was safe and sound.
But John forced himself to stay put. He knew he couldn’t be in the shed with his son; the Ministry officials had told him, warned him of the monster Remus would become. They had, in fact, encouraged John to take Remus out into the wild, out to the camps of the banished werewolves.
John had been horrified, had adamantly refused. And that was when they told him he had to have the shed, had to keep Remus contained, and if he didn’t they would take his son away and send him to live with the wild packs.
“He is a creation of Fenrir Greyback’s,” said one portly man in disgust as he looked upon Remus’s feverish face. “There is no telling, John, what he will turn out to be. Perhaps as terrible as Greyback himself.”
And John had punched that man, right in the mouth. He had knocked two teeth out, and cut his knuckle open. He’d nearly lost his job.
(He wouldn’t have cared. He wouldn’t have.
Who would want to hunt Dark creatures when his own son was one?
And every day he went to work afterwards, from this day until the rest of his life, John knew he would be a hypocrite. He felt torn, as if he owed this to the Ministry to stay in good standing, to keep Remus safe.)
He didn’t regret punching the man, and though his wife, Grace, had seemed quite aghast at what he’d done, he didn’t think she regretted it, either.
There was a sudden scream, ear piercing. It ripped through his thoughts and left him feeling as if somebody had thrown a bucket of ice water down his back. John’s eyes flew towards the tree line, and there it was, the moon, just beginning to rise over the top.
It bathed the small cabin in its milky light. John felt disgusted as it washed over him as well. It was tainted now; it was an enemy. He hated it, hated it more than he’d ever hated anything in his life.
Remus screamed on, again and again, frantic and desperate, and it tore at John’s very soul to hear it. He stood and thought about approaching the shed, but he couldn’t. He knew he couldn’t.
“This is your fault,” he shouted through the night. He yelled at the moon, tried to drown out the young boy’s screams of anguish. Tears prickled in his eyes as he tried to think about anything else other than what he was hearing.
He knew Grace was lying in bed, wide awake and hearing it all.
It wasn’t the moon’s fault. It was his fault.
II. March 16, 1976
The Shrieking Shack was as dusty and dirty as it ever was. That never bothered the four boys who visited each month, however. They had made themselves right at home, just as they’d always done.
On a threadbare, moth eaten old sofa, James Potter lounged on his back. He idly let a flying Snitch out of his pocket, and quicker than lightning snatched it out of the air again. He was lazy and careless, but his hazel eyes shined brightly with excitement. James’s eyes were always the brightest on these nights, when he looked forward to these small hours of being free and wild and animalistic, no boundaries or rules or complex thoughts.
Peter Pettigrew sat upon a three legged stool. He watched James carefully, idolised him. These nights were not so exciting for Peter, for he turned into a rat. He couldn’t run with them, as he was too small. He was often reduced to riding between Prongs’ antlers. He couldn’t play with them either, not without being crushed.
(Remus knew how much this bothered him, for Peter had once confided his disappointment in his Animagus form. It was unfortunate that nothing could be done about it, for the forms were permanent.)
Just above James’s head, Sirius Black was perched on the arm of the sofa. He twirled his wand idly in his fingers and observed Remus with his knowing grey eyes. He was reckless and irresponsible, easy to laugh but very broody. Remus didn’t think there was anything that Sirius didn’t understand.
And Remus himself was positioned beside the window, leaning upon the ledge and peeking out of the wooden boards covering the glass. He was waiting for the moon to rise; they all were. But while they waited eagerly, he waited in dread; he was embarrassed, despite their support. He couldn’t help but be, even though he knew they didn’t care.
Very little had changed in the last ten years. Every month, Remus transformed into the beast. He had gotten used to it, somewhat, as much as a person could get used to such a thing. He still dreaded the full moon each month.
The one thing he could never get used to, however, was the way the world looked upon people like him. He could remember Sirius entering their train compartment last year on September first. Sirius was upset, which was never new. Sirius was always upset after spending two months with his family.
But this time, he’d shoved a brochure into Remus’s chest and then paced about the compartment angrily. And Remus had read the brochure; new werewolf laws, new rules to keep the world safe from the monsters.
1. No werewolf could be within ten feet of an infant.
2. No werewolf could be out in public after dusk, no matter what the moon phase was.
3. No werewolf could be in contact with any human without first notifying that person of his condition.
Remus had sighed and ripped the brochure in half, putting an end to Sirius’s frenzied halting. “It doesn’t matter, Sirius,” he’d said. Sirius still fumed, for it was one of his own relatives pushing the new laws.
But Remus was already breaking most of them anyway just by attending Hogwarts. Nobody knew, nobody had any idea of what he was. Nobody except a few select professors and his three best friends. The Ministry seemed to pretend he didn’t exist because his father was one of their employees. They didn’t keep tabs on him, and he promised to stay out of trouble.
But it did matter. A little bit, it did.
Werewolf. It was what he was; it was his life.
He had often wondered why this had happened to him; but then, he’d often wondered about why a lot of things happened to people. Why did Sirius have to have such a horrible family, for example, when he was clearly nothing like any of them. Why did Peter’s father have to die when he was so young, leaving Peter to grow up fearful and hesitant and with little pride?
But they dealt with it, all of them, as best they could. They went on every day, despite the difficulties. Remus still faced every full moon. Sirius still went back to his family during the holidays. And Peter still faced his fears, even without a father figure giving encouragement.
“That’s what makes us humans being,” said Sirius once.
On the horizon, the sky was beginning to glow a milky, heavenly white. And Remus knew that there was only a few moments left before his transformation began, even without the visual reminder. The way he ached and fidgeted, the way strangled grunts and moans escaped him without him having any control over it. The sudden jerking movements, or the way the hair prickled on the back of his neck.
He also knew that, hundreds of miles away and back at home in their old cabin, his father sat awake on the front porch steps, watching and thinking of him. John Lupin never slept on these nights.
III. May 21, 2016
Teddy leaned against the doorway in the old school owlery and stared up into the gentle glow of the moon. His godfather’s invisibility cloak slipped off his shoulders and collapsed in a heap at his feet. He clutched the Marauders Map loosely in his fingertips. The map was his most precious treasure, for it was one of the only things he had left from his father.
(He had tons of things from his mother, having grown up with in his maternal grandmother’s home. But his father, Remus, had left little behind.)
Harry had given the map to him when he started Hogwarts. “It’s rightfully yours, Teddy,” said Harry as he handed it over with pride. “You’re the child of the last Marauder. I’ve had my turn.”
Teddy, being only eleven and, as he’d never been in Hogwarts with the map before, had little concept of how it worked, had excitedly accepted the parchment. Harry hadn’t told him its secrets. Harry hadn’t said the creators of the map could communicate through it, simple imprints or not. Teddy had never experienced such wonder in his entire life as he had when he figured that secret out. It was elation, victory, triumph. He’d excitedly written his father hello.
It was something, anyway, something that Teddy had never had. A meaningless conversation with his father’s memory was better than nothing.
But that was seven years earlier, and Teddy was eighteen now. And tonight was the full moon.
Once a month, on the night of the full moon, he snuck out of his dormitory in Gryffindor tower. He crept down the deserted corridors underneath the borrowed cloak. He’d spend the night on the grounds, wide awake, to pay tribute to his father.
He would stand with his arms folded across his broad chest, and stare thoughtfully up at the peaceful white orb. He would wonder, sometimes, of what nightmares it had caused his father. And sometimes he would even wonder about his father’s parents; how they felt about their son.
He would wonder if they’d stood, just like this, and stared up at the moon on these nights years earlier.
Family and friends had told them all they knew about his parents. From Harry, he had learned of Remus’s three best friends and the fact that they were Animagi. From Molly Weasley, he’d been told of all his grandfather had done, the years of searching and funding experimental potions for a cure. From his very own grandmother who'd raised him, he’d learned of how Remus had rejected his mother many times, fearing what he was; how desperate Remus was to keep Tonks out of harm's way.
Mostly, from everyone, he’d learned of what a kind, patient, caring and gentle man his father was. If Teddy could have any wish in the world, it would be simply to go back in time and meet him, just once. He would give anything for that.
A warm, soft hand suddenly slipped into his, and Teddy just about jumped out of his skin in surprise. He turned quickly in the dark. The moonlight played softly upon her features.
Victoire was the most beautiful being he had ever seen.
“Are you thinking about him?” she asked simply.
And, simply, he nodded.
She didn’t say anything else, for she knew better than to disturb him on these nights. These nights were special; they weren’t hers. These nights were his father’s.
After a while, they sat upon the ground. It wasn’t long before Victoire was curled up against his side, her lithe body snuggling along his. He enjoyed the way it felt, how well she fit into him. But tonight was not her night. He pulled the Invisibility Cloak over her to shield her from the cold, and then he lay back with his arms behind his head.
He wasn’t tired. Sometimes he felt like an insomniac, although not quite. He never had any trouble sleeping, most of the time. It was only on these nights, only during the full moon, that sleep simply wouldn’t come. It never had. He’d been up all night during the full moons for as long as he could remember.
Perhaps, being the child of a werewolf, it was just a side effect. He didn’t transform each month, but perhaps his wakefulness during the full moons was because of the blood within him.
It didn’t matter. He couldn’t say he didn’t enjoy the calm, peaceful nights of remembrance. It was on these nights that he felt closer to his father than he ever had before.
The moon was his friend. He welcomed it warmly and was always sad to see it go. When he looked at it, he sometimes felt as if he were looking into the face of his father himself.
Teddy smiled at the orb as he lay upon the soft grass. Tonight his hair was a dull, light brown. It always was on these nights. During the summer holidays, on the nights of the full moons, Harry would always smile at him.
“What?” asked Teddy suspiciously.
“Nothing,” Harry would quickly respond. “Nothing at all. You just look like your dad with your hair like that.”
He didn’t make it that way. It just turned brown on its own. He blamed it on the moon.
And the moon shines on.
First off, this is an idea that came to me whilst reading a one-shot by Blissbug. That one-shot is called "I Love You. That's All." It can be found in a story called "The Collection" (which, clearly, is a collection of one shots.) So thank you, Blissbug, for that.
If you recognise the title of this as a part of a song by Van Halen, then good job! Full credit goes to Van Halen and their song "Humans Being" for that (as well as Sirius's quote on the subject.)
I hope you enjoyed this; I've never written Teddy before.