A/N: I'm not that awesome person everyone knows as JKR, nor did I create HP. I mean, she thinks of HP's problems. Me? I look up at the moon and think "RL would hate this time of month" (as it approaches full moon of course).
Chapter 33: Ignorance is Bliss (Wish I Believed it Sooner)
“Too bad Time Turners can’t be loaned out of Hogsmeade,” I grumbled, closing a book that I dared to check out of the library from Madam Pince (I feared what might happen to me if the book became overdue). I had a brilliant idea just last week of using a Time Turner to turn myself back several hours and follow my past self while disillusioned. In that way, I could see how, and possibly why, I was getting my memories erased. Then the book had to tell me that Time Turners are serious business and only given out by the Ministry to those with legitimate reasons.
“I’d be sent to St. Mungo’s as a patient before I could get my hands on one,” I muttered again. Fortunately, the other girls in my dorm were all doing something or another during our lunch break. Remus had said in Potions earlier that he needed to find something in his trunk. He had walked out of class before seeing my reaction. Of course, I was okay missing lunch in the Great Hall every now and then. I just had to stop by the kitchens to visit the house elves briefly before retreating to my dorm to eat and think.
I tried to come up with other possibilities to keep my memories tonight. And again, I had taken too long to come up with another good idea. Those tracking spells from last month couldn’t be time-stamped, so I had no idea when I’d been where. I wasn’t going to waste my time with that again.
I also considered faking an illness to be sent home for a week so my parents could watch over me. Yeah, slim to none that I would be sent home instead of St. Mungo’s. But if I was doing anything strange during these missing memories, I didn’t want to inflict myself on a village of Muggles.
Another idea was to tie myself to the Astronomy Tower and wait for the full moon to pass. I would set myself in such a way that I could not untie myself. By morning, Peck would have delivered a letter from myself to the Marauders, telling them where to find me and get me down. But again, that would make the Marauders ask questions (or maybe not- they’re used to my slightly odd behavior and ideas now).
That led me to think of a Marauder-plus-me scavenger hunt to do around the castle on the night of the full moon. It could be done in teams so that way Remus could keep an eye on me. He would certainly tell me if anything bad was happening to me. He wouldn’t lie to me if he knew something was wrong.
Finally, I considered asking Professor Slughorn when he could have another potion-making contest to see who could win a vial of Felix Felicis. I instantly rejected the idea- Lily would just end up winning the second vial. If I wanted any, I would have to ask her for some potion and need a better excuse than saying I needed a lot of luck to figure out why I was missing memories. Yeah, good luck wasn’t coming my way.
Well, it was getting close for Herbology class to start. I put the book in my bag, grabbed the last blueberry muffin, and headed off to class.
A feeling of dread filled in my gut as I watched the minutes tick by. Here I was, sitting in class like a normal student. But in a few hours, something will happen and I will lose my memories again unless I think of something. Anything, really. That’s certainly not normal.
Even in Arithmancy, I felt like I couldn’t sit still, waiting for the inevitable. But I must have been projecting my emotions onto Remus. It seemed to me like he also kept checking his watch and the classroom clock, waiting for the time when we would be dismissed for the day. And the night of the full moon.
“Let’s just go to the library,” Remus said once class was dismissed. “I, er, want to get a head start on homework.”
I nodded. I think I had half a muffin left in my bag somewhere. It might be a week old, but it would suffice if I got desperate.
But as Remus walked next to me, his head bent down to study the floor as we walked, I realized that Remus might actually be bummed out. Maybe his mood wasn’t just in my head. I mean, they say little girls make their dolls feel the same way they does. What’s so appealing about playing with dolls anyway . . ?
“Fine, stand out here all evening.” Remus moved past me and into the library. The door started to close behind him.
“Huh? Oh!” I scurried through the door before it closed all the way. Obviously Remus didn’t want to be a doorman when he leaves Hogwarts.
“Sorry, sorry,” I whispered after him. I returned the library book to Madam Pince, wondering if she could shoot curses at students with her eyes alone. I got to the History of Magic section a split second after Remus.
“Be my guest if you want to daydream in the middle of the school halls,” Remus hissed. He took his Arithmancy books out of his bag. “Doesn’t bother me.”
I slouched in my seat. What can I do to make Remus feel better? He’s probably annoyed with me because I’ve been acting a bit spacey lately, not like an attentive girlfriend. Hm, what are some girlfriend duties of mine that could make Remus not act all grumpy?
Five minutes later, I was sitting on Remus’s lap, my arms looped around his neck. My lips were pressed hard against his. My tongue reacquainted itself with the inside of Remus’s mouth. I continued to commit every nook and crevice to memory. While my mouth and tongue were busy, the fingers of my right hand wove themselves into Remus’s sandy locks.
I think I was succeeding in making Remus happier. His arms were keeping my body securely balanced on his lap. Both his thumbs had just barely managed to find a gap in my blouse and rubbed small circles into my skin. I had to press my lips harder against Remus’s to keep my moans inaudible.
I heard the library doors click open, followed by semi-slow and heavy footsteps approaching the History of Magic section.
I opened my eyes at the same moment as Remus. He let go of my waist as I detached my lips from his. I slid back onto my chair. Banged my left knee on the edge of the table as I rotated my body around to face forward. Picked up a quill and realized that I had nothing to write on. So I opened my Charms book, flipped to a page, and pretended like my scroll was just hiding under the books. Right, like anything could hide under the smallest text book assigned to any students (I think it was small so Flitwick could carry it).
Professor Binns walked in around the corner, stopping only when he actually saw students sitting in the History of Magic section.
“Good afternoon, professor,” Remus said, his voice cracking slightly.
I merely smiled at him politely. Sure, I wasn’t just snogging my boyfriend senseless in the library. That’s ridiculous!
The professor just blinked. “Er, yes then. Good afternoon, Mr. Lunar. Ms. Moon.” He stepped over to a bookcase, grabbed three books, and took them back towards Madam Pince.
“You’d think he would know our names after we sat in his class for five years,” Remus muttered.
I started giggling once I knew Binns was out of the library. “That was funny. I never thought about it like that before.”
Remus just stared at me, not laughing. “What’s got your funny bone now?”
“I can actually understand how Binns confused our names,” I explained. “Look, my first name is after that moon goddess. And the first syllable of my last name is ‘Mon.’ Just as an ‘o’ and you get ‘Moon!’ And you, your nickname is Moony! But he must have remembered that your name started with an ‘L,’ so that’s where he got ‘Lunar.’ See? Funny!” I continued to giggle.
“I still don’t-”
I stopped giggling enough to just groan. “Of course it’s not funny when you have to explain it to someone! And people say you’re the smartest in our class?” I shook my head, doing my best to look disappointed.
“Only you can understand ‘Artemis Monroe’ logic,” Remus sighed. He turned his attention back to his books.
I was writing down all the known properties of this week’s Herbology plant (I had to treat the Ravenclaws straight after class for burns they acquired- what is it with brainy people and plants anyway?) when my mind started drifting to another possible memory trick. Maybe I could get a Quick Quotes Quill to follow me around. It would write everything down as I did or said anything, ensuring that I would-
Nope, not happening. The Marauders last week traded all the quills in the school with Quick Quotes Quills (don’t ask me how they managed that). No one could catch their quills, and a lot of people had gossip in their papers instead of facts. I seem to recall Slughorn mentioning that potions do not typically have scandalous affairs with ceiling wax. If I were to use one, it would probably come up with some crazy and totally inaccurate account of my activities. I would have to be mad in order to resort to that plot. Actually, anyone would have to be mad if they used a Quick Quotes Quill for real business.
Argh! This is too hard! I slammed my head against pages 394 and 395 of my Herbology text. Argh!
“Uh, Artemis, are you all right?” Remus asked tentatively.
I lifted my head from the book. Some of the pages actually peeled off my forehead, seeming to want to come with me. “Sure, never better,” I smiled brightly. “Why do you ask?”
Remus’s eyes looked to my forehead. “You’re got the words ‘purple puss’ imprinted on your head. Spelled backwards, of course.”
“Of course,” I grumbled. I licked my thumb and tried scrubbing away blindly at the offending words.
“Here, let me. Scourgify.”
“You know, every now and then I forget that I can do magic to fix simple problems.”
“That’s you,” Remus said. He offered a small smile before turning his attention back to his books.
Hm. I’m trying to solve my complicated problems with magic. Maybe I’m going about this backwards. I could scour the library, looking for memory-remembering techniques, but I certainly don’t have enough time before tonight’s full moon. But what if I tried a very simple Muggle way to keep myself alert and with someone all night?
“So,” I said to Remus, “I know tonight’s a school night . . .”
Remus hummed to let me know he was listening.
“But I was thinking that because I’m not the typical girlie-girlfriend you may have expected, we might want to do something, er, a bit more romantic for your sake. I mean, you’re a pretty nice and romantic bloke, though you make sure your romantic side won’t make me sick to my stomach.”
I waited. Remus remained silent this time, but his eyes stopped reading.
Now or never, Artemis. “So, I was thinking we might take a break from all this studying. Tonight’s going to be a clear night. So it might be nice if we were to spend that time together.” Still, no reaction. “What I’m trying to get at is that I want to walk in the full moon with you.”
Remus’s complexion paled noticeably. His skin nearly became transparent. His left temple started throbbing with his heartbeat. His jaw clenched and unclenched in a matter of seconds. His eyes remained locked on his books.
“O-kay, bad idea,” I muttered. I turned back to my essay. “I agree, too mushy. What was I even thinking?” Back to brainstorming.
I wrote some information about the toxicity of this week’s plant’s leaves and how much time someone would have before shriveling up like a completely dry raisin (one hundred nine seconds). Thank you to the person who invented sturdy gloves! And the antidote that Sprout keeps handy!
Remus took a deep breath. From the corner of my eye, it seemed like some of Remus’s color had come back. Just some. He leaned over the right side of the table. I soon heard rustling papers.
Focus, Artemis, focus! Face it, I’m not getting help with my problem. But what good is it to read mystery novels unless I can learn some deductive strategies? Oh wait, I just like reading about the homicide. Then I like seeing the punishment. Those strategies for solving the mystery must have been hidden in there with the gushy, romantic parts I skip over! Curse those mystery writers!
Remus came back up to the surface of the table, holding an old and battered notebook. It was already open to a specific page. “Uh, Artemis,” Remus said slowly, “there’s something I want to tell you.”
I turned my head to Remus. “Okay.” I put down the quill and turned my body to face him as well. “Shoot.”
Remus’s amber eyes widened. “Well, er, I actually wanted, um, what I meant-” He soon got too caught in his mutterings to be coherent anymore.
“Remus, slow down,” I said, patting him on the shoulder. “It’s okay. Take a deep breath. Relax. It’s just me, remember?”
Remus nodded, clenching his jaw again. “Alright. But I think it would be best if I show you.” He passed the notebook across the table towards me.
I angled the book towards me. Read the heading. Felt a little confused. It was from a unit of Defense class in third year. Werewolves.
I looked back up at Remus, trying to smile. “Uh, nice gesture there, Remus. Finding these for me. But you’re about a year late. I can’t take my O.W.L.’s again, and I wouldn’t even if I could. So why are you bringing these out now?”
“Just read.” Remus turned away. Trained his eyes on his books in front of him. And just sat there.
Sighing, I turned to Remus’s notes. Hm, he had pretty decent handwriting for a thirteen year old boy back then too. Nothing compared to Randy’s, but still impressive. Let’s see, werewolves. Certainly more than I wrote on the topic (I believe my heading came out looking like ‘we like pie, ’ which was certainly not applicable to Defense class).
A werewolf changes from man into beast once every full moon . . . A werewolf loses its mind, often not remembering its nightly excursions . . . Once bitten by a werewolf, one is afflicted by the condition for the rest of one’s life . . . Werewolves suffer from severe injury directly after the full moon . . . There is no cure for lycanthropy . . . A werewolf would turn on its friends given the opportunity . . . Werewolves are shunned from normal wizarding society . . . Symptoms of lycanthropy include but are not limited to: fatigue, strong emotional outbursts, and occasional strong cravings of particular comfort food . . .
Werewolves are monsters, not to be trusted . . .
I may have only skimmed through the notes, but those are the parts that I took out. And as I read, I felt my gut grow heavy. What did this mean?
Sure, even Muggles knew that werewolves changed at the full moon.
But I’ve been losing my memories before or during the full moon of the month with no recollection of where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing.
It’s been happening every month since the start of the year. I realized a long time ago that I have not skipped a month (yes, both ‘monthly’ events).
Merlin, I’ve even awoken with brain damage in December, an ‘illness’ in January, and flashbacks of myself being around blood!
I haven’t been able to come up with a way to prevent myself from losing these memories after keeping the idea in the back of my head for months now! So maybe there is no way to stop it from happening.
Oh no, I even tried using Remus just now to keep an eye on me when I clearly promised myself in January that I wouldn’t allow my friends to worry after me.
I know I’m not a normal witch by any standards, but I’ve made sure outsiders don’t know that for the most part.
And I am aware that some might say that my fixation with blueberry muffins borders obsession.
Oh. My. Godric! It makes sense! PB&J attacked me in September. They must have known back then that there was something wrong with me and wanted me to stay as far away as possible from their friend! They’re loyal like that. But when Remus was still interested in me, the Marauders decided to become my friends just so they could conveniently keep an eye on me. I mean, I’m the only person to sit among the Marauders on a long-term basis. They weren’t only being my friends, they were acting as bodyguards for Remus!
“Artemis?” Remus reached out, placing his hand on my right shoulder. “Please, say something.”
I jumped and scooted back in my chair. Kind, gentle Remus. The nicest Marauder. He really is great. And here he was, trying to explain something to me that I should have known about months ago! He shouldn’t have felt like I was too good for him back in December! I’m the one that doesn’t deserve him!
“Artemis, just breathe,” Remus said. His hand withdrew from my shoulder. “I know it’s a lot to take in, and I’ve been trying to tell you for months, but-”
I didn’t hear anymore. I didn’t need to. I was aware of the wizarding world’s view on this sort of thing. And I couldn’t let Remus risk his future for being with me. So I did the only thing I could do.
Out of my seat. Banged my right knee this time into the table. Shoved past Madam Pince. The books in her arms exploded to the floor. Pushed the library doors open. Looked around. Turned right. Down some stairs. I needed to get out of the castle. Because tonight was the full moon.
And I just learned that I am a werewolf.
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