Chapter 33 : The Pack
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After a month, I find the wolves. Searching through the forest for their location was difficult. The newest member of the pack was to guard me, so I (and he) could be proven trustworthy somehow. I had hidden my wand and the parchment and ink in my suitcase, which I had buried.
My guard was Jason, the werewolf I had met in St. Mungo’s while visiting Arthur. “Remus,” he said upon seeing me. Luckily, there was no one else around. “What are you doing here?” I told him the truth…or some of it.
“I broke up with my girlfriend. You remember, the girl with the pink spiked hair.” It’s already been a month, and I still can’t keep my voice straight when saying it.
“You broke up with her?” He had asked.
“Yeah. I’m not right for her. I dangerous, poor, and old. She needs someone better for her than me.”
“But she loved you. I could tell that. My wife had packed my things by the time I was home, told me to leave. She didn’t love me. But you were so easy around her, even talking about your ‘condition’ as you like to call it.” Why was everyone always telling me how good we were for each other? First Molly, then Moody and Kingsley, now this guy, who I had only talked to three times. They didn’t know. Even she didn’t really understand.
“I just wanted to be with my own kind,” I retorted harshly.
Jason held his hands up, as if in surrender. “Fine,” he said. Now, another month later, I was accepted as one of the pack. Life here was simple. We hunted food, grew our own vegetables, and got water from a nearby stream. I fell into place easily.
“Hey, Lupin, can you help over here?” I walked over to see what Rak wanted. Most of the people here changed their names, so people wouldn’t recognize who they were. Jason and I had both kept ours.
“What is it?” I ask.
“Abella hasn’t woken from her sleep, and she’s feverish.” Abella was Rak’s wife.
“I’ll see what I can do.” I begin making potions. Most of the pack watches, trying to learn. I explain everything I do, and why, in hopes to teach. Most of them had never been to school, having been bitten as small children. I told them, the first time I did this, that I had bought some potions books and learned from those. You don’t need a wand for most potions, and I felt I needed to learn them. I finish, and pour a dose down Abella’s throat. Her breathing, which had been ragged before, was levelling out, and she felt slightly cooler.
“Remus, I don’t know what we would do without you.”
“You did fine before I came,” I say. After a long day, we settle down to sleep.
Nights were terrible. Most of the time, I dream of Dora. Sometimes, she’s happy and laughing with faceless men. Sometimes there will be children, or she’ll see me and ask what she could have been thinking. But most of the time, she’s alone. She’s sitting on the couch, looking straight at the wall. She never has her hair like she used to. Instead, it’s shoulder length and brown. Her eyes always look half full of tears, and she never smiles. My poor Dora. She’s so thin; her small t-shirts are hanging loose on her. Those are the dreams I hate the most. As much as it hurts to think she’s happy with someone else, it hurts more to think she’s in such a state.
I must call her name out when I sleep, because Jason asks me if I dream about her a lot. He is the only one who knows about her. I asked him not to say anything the first day. Not to act like we’d met before. And certainly not mention her.
I want to go to my hiding place and write to her, tell her everything, but I can’t. I’m still closely watched, and the pack would grow suspicious. I’m not allowed out of the camp yet, even if they do trust me.
Rak told me on more than one occasion to find a wife to ‘be mated’ with. I just smile at him, and tell him I will when I’m ready. The pack seems to like me. I’ve even brought up Voldemort. The pack protested at first.
We are sitting around the fire at night, and everyone is quiet. I clear my throat. Everyone looks at me. I take a deep breath. “I was curious as to if you had heard of Voldemort.” To my surprise, I see shivers run down most of the packs backs.
“Of course,” Karn, the Alpha, says. “He has sent emissaries here, to try to bring us to his side.”
“What did you say?” I ask, hoping for the best, fearing the worst. He studies me.
“Are you from him?” I shake my head. Karn tilts his head to the side to indicate that I walk with him. “We said we would discuss it. Some of our group is interested in what he has to say.”
“I know the terror he can bring upon people, the way he can tear families apart.” Karn studies me.
“He destroyed your family.” It was more of a question.
“Yes, and I struggled for years after. I finally decided to join my own kind again.”
“Again? You were among us before?”
“Long ago, I was very young. From the time I was nineteen until I was twenty one.”
“Why did you leave?”
“Circumstances required it.” He studies me some more.
“Very well, Remus.” He doesn’t trust me completely. The months pass me quickly, and before I know it, it’s late December. Last month, I gained hunting privileges, meaning I can go off for days by myself. I have sent letters to Dumbledore. He wants me to come back. He thinks I have done all I can. Greyback has been to all of the other packs that we thought we could win. A deer runs past me. I shoot a killing curse at it. Then I take the spear I’m supposed to be hunting with, and put it though it’s neck.
“Remus.” I turn around quickly.
“I didn’t think you had your wand anymore.” I just stand there. “Greyback is in the camp. I was sent to get you.” I stuff the wand into my pocket. He gives me a strange look. “I’ve had some bad experiences with Greyback.” I say. We go through the forest. It’s not far to the camp. When we arrive, I hear loud voices. Greyback and Karn are arguing. Then Greyback sees me.
“Remus Lupin. We meet again.”
“You know him, Remus?”
“Yes. He was the one who bit me.”
“Karn, I am surprised you let him into your pack. Can you not see he is a wizard?”
“He is not. He has done no magic while among us.”
“He was schooled. At Hogwarts.”
“You are wrong. Tell him Remus. Tell him that you are one of us. He should know, if he was the one who turned you.”
“I do know.”Greyback says. “Such a good looking boy, playing in the woods by his house. And I, I simply wanted a son. I meant for him to be mine.” He gives a half laugh. “His parents thought more of him than I thought. They kept him, tried helping him. And got him into school.”
“Remus, tell him he is wrong. Tell him!” Karn shouts.
“I was schooled, Karn. I never said otherwise.” Karns face falls. “Karn, please.”
“Why are you here, Remus. A spy for Voldemort?”
“No! I could never betray-”
“Betray who? Your pretty little girlfriend?” Greyback snarls. How did he know?
“You leave her out of this.”
“Girlfriend?” The sound of Karns voice tells me he feels betrayed, on the deepest level.
“I have not betrayed you.”
“How do I know you are not lying?”
“He isn’t.” Jason speaks up. “I met her, and him, when I was in St. Mungo’s for my bite. Before my wife left me. You should have seen what he had. She knew, and still she touched him, kissed him. And there was a family, a large one, there for some bloke who was snake bit, and they were close to him as well. You should have seen what he left behind, who he left behind, to be here with us.”
“Why would he do that? I’m sure they turned on him.”
“Impossible. The man with the snake bite, the first day he knew of why I was in there, tried to make friends with me. Told me about him. Said he was one of the best wizards he knew.” Jason’s voice is shaking with rage. “They would never betray him.”
“Then why are you here?”
“He’s part of Dumbledore’s Order,” Greyback says. Karn looks at me.
“I am. But I taught you. Potions. Ways to heal. I’ve done nothing to hurt you.”
“And if you went back now?”
“They would welcome me back.”
“And the pretty little Auror?” Greyback asks. I glare at him.
“She has nothing to do with this.”
“But she looks so…appetizing.” I have to restrain myself from attacking him.
“You leave her alone.”
“Touchy subject? Going to run back to her? I think I may look for her, even if her appearance does change a lot.” Where does he get this information? “I’ve been watching you, Remus.”
“You a disgrace to your kind.”
“If anyone’s a disgrace, it’s you, Greyback. You don’t even look human anymore.”
“Why do you cling to their society, Remus, when we could vanquish them? We could be on the top.”
“I know people who don’t care about what I am. They only care about who I am. We won’t be oppressed forever.”
“You truly believe that?”
“Remus,” Karn says.
“What?” I say viciously. I close my eyes. “I’m sorry. Yes, Karn?”
“How can you believe that?” I don’t. I just can’t stand Greyback.
“I just do.”
He just looks at me. Greyback starts speaking again.
“Remus, the Dark Lord could use you, on his side. Such a powerful wizard. Don’t say you aren’t, you are great at wandless magic. Remus, think of what you could do.”
“What I could do? Slaughter innocent people, put this…curse upon them? Kill people because they don’t have the right blood? No thank you.”
“You say that now.” I don’t like the glint he has in his eye. Jason and Karn are just watching now, waiting to see what happens. “I will find her, and convince you to join.” That’s it, my self-restraint is gone. Greyback falls as I jump on him, my hands around his neck. He brings his hands up and pushes me off. I lunge for him again, but he sidesteps and has me pinned to the ground.
“This is a mistake, Remus.” I punch him, but he doesn’t fall off. Again I punch him, but before I make contact, he catches my fist, twisting my arm back. Suddenly, he’s thrown off of me. I look around and see Jason.
“Foolish pup, you don’t know what you’re doing,” he says, racing toward him. I make it to Jason just before Greyback, pushing him out of the way. Greyback’s teeth sink into my shoulder. My elbow collides with his face, and he falls to the ground. I’m on him in an instant, his head pulled back and neck exposed, my teeth centimetres from it. His breathing’s raged.
“Remus,” Karn says gently. I stand, walking away.
“You stay away from her,” I growl at him.
“Remus, wait. You’re a wizard?”
“I never said I wasn’t. I’ve never lied. I’m not good at it.” His eyes searches mine.
“You can’t stay. If the others find out…”
“I have to complete my mission to the fullest. I have to convince everyone that Voldemort isn’t who they want to be on sides with.”
“You have to leave, now. The others-”
“Are here Karn.” The speaker of the group looks at me. “Let us hear you out, Remus.”
And I talk to them. I tell them of Dumbledore’s kindness to me as a child, of him letting me into Hogwarts. I tell them of James and Lily and Sirius and Peter. Of Peters betrayal. I tell them of my job, my teaching position.
“But you were forced out?” Abella asks.
“No, I chose to leave. Dumbledore and many of the students would have had me stay. Actually, the students I’m still in contact with talk of my ‘problem’ like it’s nothing, and are angry when people react badly.”
“A few students compared to the whole community-”
“Isn’t a lot. I realize. But, they do accept us, as normal people. And a few student now, equal their children later, and theirs later.”
“The Dark Lord promises-” Greyback begins.
“Are you really going to believe someone who was so afraid he tried to kill a baby? Voldemort will betray you once your use is done.”
“And you’re friends wont?”
“I haven’t been much use to them. I’m poor, so I can’t support them. Merlin, until I found a Muggle job, I was living for free with one of my friends!”
In the end, I was asked to leave.
“Don’t forget, Remus. I’ll be watching the multi-coloured Nymph,” Greyback calls. I can’t help it. I draw my wand and point it at him.
“Hear me, Greyback. You touch one hair on her, and you will die a painful death. Even though I will no longer call her mine, even though she will forget about me. You even breath the wrong way around her, and I will make you wish you were never born.”
“There is the power the Dark Lord seeks, Remus.” I see fear on the faces of the pack.
“What are you talking about?”
“Why, you have a personal storm.” I lower my wand, and the wind dies down.
I look at the group one last time. “I will leave now. I’m sorry for any fright I caused. Please, just remember my words. If you don’t join with my side, at least abstain from Voldemort’s.” With that, I apparate to the only place I know to: The Burrow. I knock on the door. It flies open. “Remus,” Molly cries. She whisks me inside, and has a bowl of soup in front of me before I can say hi. “How have you been? We’ve all been so worried.”
“I’m fine, Molly.” I smile at her.
“Good, because I need to talk to you.”
“What is it?” Is something wrong? Has something happened to Dora?
“You need to stop being such an idiot.”
A/N: So, what do you think? Anything you want to say about the story? I have a Meet the Author Account, so if you go to my author page (by clicking on my name) and then click the link it gives, you can ask me questions about any of my stories, or my writting in general. Also, don't forget about the Over the Moon companion.
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